Monday, June 3, 2013

Pearled Barley Salad with Cherries and Arugula

Pearled Barley Salad with Cherries and Arugula

Pearled barley is so fun!  The original recipe called for pearled couscous, but I wanted to give this barley a try.  This is perfect for a summertime lunch or light dinner.  The pearled barley is cooked in a mixture of orange juice and water, giving it a hint of citrus.  After it cools, the barley is mixed with arugula, walnuts, shallots, celery, dried cherries, and thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese.

Pearled Barley Salad with Cherries and Arugula

After I put this together I couldn't stop eating it!  All the different flavors work really well together and make this salad completely addicting.   It does take a bit of time to cook the pearled barley, but after that this salad is quick to put together.  This would be great to bring to a picnic or potluck because it's delicious slightly warm and you don't have to worry about any of the ingredients going bad.  Give this salad a try sometime this summer-  you won't be disappointed! 

Pearled Barley Salad with Cherries and Arugula

Pearled Barley Salad with Cherries and Arugula

serves: 4 as a main dish, more as a side dish


Pearled Barley:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 1/3 cups pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries (dried cranberries would also be great)
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 ounces arugula, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (toast if desired)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • salt + pepper
  • 3 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices


1) Start by cooking the pearled barley.  Bring the water and orange juice to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Add the pearled barley.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40-50 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.  Once done, spread on a baking sheet to cool (it will cool much more quickly this way).

2)  Meanwhile, combine orange juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and cherries in a medium sized microwave safe dish (make sure there is extra room in the dish for the liquid to bubble up).  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Remove from the microwave and let stand for 5 minutes.  

3)  In a large bowl, combine the cherries and liquid with the celery, arugula, walnuts, and shallots.  Once the cooked barley is at room temperature, stir it in as well.  Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Add the slices of cheese and toss the salad to combine.  Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

(recipe adapted from the kitchn)


  1. Pearled barley is one of my favorite grains! love the inclusion of dried fun!

    1. Thanks! I love how the cherries get "cooked" in this recipe and absorb some of the dressing. They add so much flavor!


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