Kale and Barley Salad
The Moroccan-inspired, vegan kale and barley salad features raisins, pistachios and parsley paired with a tangy turmeric dressing.
What is Barley?
Barley is a whole grain, much like farro or freekeh. Barley is a type of wheat so it is not gluten-free but it does offer many nutritional benefits.
Barley is a good source of selenium, copper, chromium, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, niacin and other important minerals and antioxidants, plus it’s lower in calories than a lot of other grains, as well as higher in fibre. It’s also inexpensive and versatile and can be used in soups, stews, salads and breakfast recipes.
If you’ve never cooked barley before, it’s no different than cooking grains like farro and brown rice. Barley can be cooked stovetop or in an Instant Pot and either way the process takes about 30-40 minutes.
Here are a few notes about the main ingredients in this recipe:
- Barley. You’ll need 2.5-3 cups of cooked barley or 1 cup of uncooked barley. Pot or pearled barley are both suitable for this recipe.
- Kale. Any kind of kale works here, just be sure to wash it well, de-stem and finely chop. Choose organic kale when possible.
- Raisins. Raisins add a little sweetness that complements the other ingredients nicely. If you don’t have raisins on hand you can use dried cranberries or chopped dates.
- Pistachios. Look for raw pistachio kernels for this recipe. They should have no added oil or salt. If you can only find salted, that’s ok too. Dry-roasted and salted also works. If you can’t get your hands on any pistachios, pine nuts work well here too.
In addition, you’ll need some spices, lemon and apple cider vinegar for the dressing, as well as red bell pepper and parsley for the salad.
Recipe Method and Notes
This recipe is very easy to make. All you need to do is prepare the kale and bell peppers, blend the dressing, then mix everything up.
Start by blending the dressing. Next, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the thick stems and finely chopping them. Add the kale to a large bowl with the dressing and mix until the kale is well-coated.
Quick Tip: Let the kale and dressing sit for a few minutes to allow the kale to soften a bit.
This wonderful, hearty salad features kale, barley, bell pepper, raisins, pistachios and a tangy, creamy curry dressing. You’ll love the nutty, chewy barley paired with sweet raisins and crunchy pistachios!
This recipe is vegan and can be made gluten-free by subbing the barley for a gluten-free whole grain of choice, I would suggest short-grain brown rice.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
Here are some more meal-sized salads you’ll love:
- Chickpea Shawarma Salad
- Edamame Broccoli Wild Rice Salad
- Lentil Quinoa Bowl
- Tempeh Quinoa Macro Bowl
- Vegan Lentil Kale Salad with Roasted Broccoli
- 1 cup pot or pearled barley, uncooked (about 3 cups cooked, for a gluten-free option, use brown rice or quinoa)
- 5 cups de-stemmed and finely chopped kale
- 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pistachio kernels
For the Dressing
- Cook the barley according to package instructions.
- Add the kale, parsley and red pepper to a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender and mix until smooth. Add a little water, 1-2 tbsp at a time to adjust the consistency. It should be creamy but pourable. Pour over the kale mixture, stirring until the kale is well coated. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the kale to soften a bit.
- Once the barley is cooked, drain any excess water and add to the rest of the ingredients.
- Fold in the raisins and pistachios.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Keywords: healthy, plant-based
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on June 2, 2015. It was updated in March 2020 with new photos and text.