Roasted Pumpkin & Barley Salad

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Roasted Pumpkin & Barley Salad


Barley gives a salad real heft … by that I mean plenty of chew and substance. You can turn this into a main course by adding feta, or soft-cooked eggs, and serve with good bread.

Serves: 6


½ cup pearl barley
325ml (about 11 fl oz) water
1 kg (a good 2 lb) pumpkin
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chopped rosemary
½ cup pumpkin seeds
Flaky sea salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
¼ tsp chilli flakes, optional
12 Kalamata olives, stoned and sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
8-10 cups (or a couple of handfuls) of rocket (arugula), trimmed

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Dab of Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Put barley and water in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat to the lowest setting, cover pan with a lid and cook very gently for 45 minutes. Remove lid and fluff up with a fork. The liquid should have just evaporated (if it is still very wet, drain in a sieve). Remove pan from heat, cover barley with paper towels, put lid on pan and leave for 10 minutes. Cool.


2 Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Cut pumpkin into large cubes removing peel and seeds. Place in a shallow ovenproof dish and drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with rosemary. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, until just tender. Cool.


3 While barley and pumpkin are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk oil, lemon juice, garlic, ½ a teaspoon of salt (or about 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt) and mustard together in a large bowl. Grind on plenty of pepper. Add cooked barley and toss well.


4 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and when hot, add pumpkin seeds. Cover the pan with a splatter screen or lid as they toast or they will pop out of the pan; stir them occasionally. Tilt the pan, scoop out seeds with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on a plate lined with paper towels. Tip them into a bowl, stir through a few good pinches of flaky sea salt, lemon zest, crushed coriander seeds and chilli flakes, if using.


4 To finish off, add pumpkin, olives and tomatoes to bowl with barley and toss. Add rocket and give a gentle toss, scatter with pumpkin seeds, then serve immediately.

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