Make-ahead, Salads

Kale & Pearl Barley Salad with a Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette

Believe it or not, there are quite a few scrumptious uses for kale that don’t involve a blender (I do love a green smoothie though!) This kale and pearl barley salad is definitely one of them.
Since I made the switch from soup to salad earlier this year, probably around march/April time, I’ve been eating the same boring salad. Quite an achievement though. Anything else and I would have been bored senseless by now. Anyway, I needed a change, and I don’t quite feel like giving in to soup season just yet.

This salad has more of an autumnal, comforting taste than my usual, and combines a lot of my favourite things. Lemon, honey, sunflower seeds, avocado, feta, red onion. Amazing. The lemon-honey vinaigrette really softens up the kale, and makes it surprisingly delicious, and the pearl barley packs it out so it really is a filling lunch.

When in Ireland last week, I realised how much I love salad. Too many days (basically, anything more than 1) were spent making custom baguettes in delis and cafes for my liking. Custom baguettes, you see, because apparently most places in Ireland don’t cater very well for the vegetarian types. I ate so much bread in such a short space of time. Ugh! So this salad was a doubly nice change for me upon my return.

Kale is something I’ve come to love in the past year or so. It is high in vitamin K, which is needed for bone health and normal blood clotting. It is also a great anti-inflammatory food, as well as being good for cardiovascular health and implicated in cancer prevention.

Serves 4-5 (From Sweet Peas & Saffron)


1 cup uncooked pearl barley

4 cups of kale ribbons, stems removed

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 medium red onion, finely diced

1 avocado, cubed

100g feta, crumbled

For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons honey



1. Wash the pearl barley a couple of times in clean, cold water and drain. Pop in a pan of boiling water and cook as detailed on the packet instructions, or just simmer until cooked. When the pearl barley is cooked, rinse under cold water to cool it (so you can add it to the salad straight away!)

2. Put all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, put the lid on a shake thoroughly to mix. Pour all over the kale, and with your (clean) hands, rub it into the kale really well. I love this bit.

3. Add the sunflower seeds, chickpeas, red onion, avocado, feta and cooked pearl barley to the kale and mix.

3. Serve straight away or chill until needed.

4. Enjoy! 🙂


Alice x