Pear Almond Barley Salad


This is a salad that I have embarrassingly had on my list of things to try for over a year now and just got around to it.  Thanks to the sweet Mr. Wishes for reminding me 😉

This idea is inspired by an amazing salad I used to order at Hillstone restaurant while we were temporarily living down in Miami for 5 months last year.  Their barley salad had such wonderful textures and flavors to it and I vowed to try to recreate it once I was home.  A year later, here it is!   And you know what? It’s FAN-tastic.  One of the best salads I’ve had in a long time.  The sweet/salty combination is marvelous and it is the perfect 4th of July side dish.  But, if you plan on feeding more than 3-4 people, you might just want to double the recipe.  You can replace the pears with apples and the almonds with walnuts or pecans, if you prefer.

Whether your plans include packing a picnic basket or hosting a BBQ, make sure to put this barley salad on the menu.  Those trying to eat healthy will appreciate it most of all.  It’s great served hot, cold or room temperature, which makes it perfect for summer, in general.  It will also go well with other foods, so you won’t have to fuss too much with your menu.  And, last but not least, everyone will love it!

This year, why don’t you reach beyond your grandma’s potato salad and make this.  Or, maybe, just make room on your plate beside it 😉

Pear Almond Barley Salad. Great side dish for the 4th of July or any picnic in the summer!


*makes 3-4 servings, more if using as just a side dish*

1 cup barley (I used Pearl)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 ripe pear
1/2 cup raw or roasted whole almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced vidalia onion (can also use shallots)
1/3 cup raisins. optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Lettuce or baby spinach
1 avocado, sliced




In a sauce pan, bring the barley and vegetable broth to a boil over a high heat.
Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the all of the broth is absorbed.
Take the top off the pot and let it cool for 10 minutes.
While the barley is cooking, mix together the lemon juice, vinegar and shallots in a small bowl
When the barley is done, cut the pear in small slices or cubes.
Mix the almonds and lemon juice mixture into the barley.
Add the pears and mix gently.
Serve over a bed of lettuce or baby spinach.  Top with sliced avocado just before serving.
Leftovers can be refrigerated and eaten the next day cold.
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These are a few of my favorite things: cooking, baking, Broadway musicals, cruises, Disney World, Christmas, thunderstorms, 80's and country music, and my favorite pastime has ALWAYS been baseball. Go Yankees!

39 Responses to “Pear Almond Barley Salad”

  1. July 3, 2013 at 1:28 AM #

    I love how unique this salad is, not to mention how healthy it is. It sounds awesome!
    And how cool you got live in Miami for 5 months! I read that post about all of the things you don’t like about Miami and you had me cracking up! I’m not sure if the traffic is worse than California but people probably don’t honk as much here. And when I lived in Orlando, everybody spoke Spanish too. It made working in healthcare really challenging.

    • July 3, 2013 at 1:37 AM #

      Sarah, can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment and how you read my Miami post 🙂 I know it was pretty long! I was in Cali last month and I did notice, while the traffic was horrendous, the honking was not anything like it was in Miami! I’m not sure what it is about that place…

  2. July 3, 2013 at 3:29 AM #

    Ashley, I love the idea of using barley in a salad. I know how everyone is all crazy for quinoa but this is one oldie but goodie grain that we forget about. Love the light dressing and the savory and sweet additions. Take Care, BAM

    • July 3, 2013 at 10:28 AM #

      I love quinoa, too! But you’re right – barley sometimes gets forgotten about 🙂

  3. July 3, 2013 at 4:26 AM #

    This looks so healthy. I have cooked with barley before but I think I need to start using this grain more often. This salad looks perfect for right now since it is so hot here and cooking is always avoided 🙂

    • July 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM #

      This was the first time I cooked with barley…and not the last! 🙂

  4. Joe DiBella
    July 3, 2013 at 5:52 AM #

    Now if im allergic to nuts can i substitute chocolate chips here?? Thanks in advance.

    • July 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM #

      Do whatever your little heart desires 😉

  5. July 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM #

    Ohhh I love this! Sounds like a great potluck dish for summertime! Have a great 4th! 🙂

    • July 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM #

      Definitely! Especially because it can be made ahead of time…

  6. Dawn
    July 3, 2013 at 12:51 PM #

    I am so impressed that when you were trying to “recreate” a salad, you thought “Oh, I should use brown rice vinegar”! That’s something a real cook would know, and I would NEVER figure out on my own! I didn’t even know brown rice vinegar exists! Thanks for sharing your expertise, Ashley. I am so impressed by anyone who can eat something in a restaurant and recreate it at home. Also, avocado is my new fave ingredient, so I’m making this post haste!

    • July 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM #

      Awww I was so excited to see a comment from you. Thanks for being my biggest blog fan!! 🙂 I’m now obessed with avocado..they are soo good and actually healthy. Can’t beat it!

  7. July 3, 2013 at 1:04 PM #

    I love barley but I never think to buy it, but I have to try this!

    • July 3, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

      This was my first time buying barley!! Won’t be my last 🙂 It’s so good for you, too.

  8. July 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM #

    I love barley and don’t cook it nearly enough! This sounds wonderful, Ashley! Have a great 4th!

    • July 3, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

      This was my first time cooking with barley…I think I will do it more often now 🙂 Happy 4th to you, Sally!

  9. July 3, 2013 at 3:01 PM #

    Beautiful salad, definitely perfect for summer time. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  10. July 3, 2013 at 4:55 PM #

    Love this salad! And I love that it is vegan! I’m heading to a bbq this weekend and I was looking for a fresh new salad. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • July 3, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

      Christine, thanks for stopping by! I hope you like this salad if you try it 🙂

  11. July 3, 2013 at 7:07 PM #

    I like grain salads like this! You can take them in so many different directions. And the direction you’ve taken is to deliciousville! This looks terrific – really good stuff. Thanks.

    • July 3, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

      Thanks, John! I love grain salads, too!

  12. July 4, 2013 at 12:48 AM #

    I love pear and almond. This sounds great!

    • July 4, 2013 at 12:53 AM #

      Thanks – it’s a great combo!

  13. July 4, 2013 at 12:59 AM #

    I love the idea of using grain in salads. I’ve been seeing so many quinoa salad recipes that this is such a nice change. Love avocado and baby spinach, yum! Have a great 4th Ashley!

    • July 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM #

      Thank you, Anne! Yeah it’s a nice change from all the quinoa 🙂

  14. Vicki Bensinger
    July 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM #

    I love barley but don’t recall ever using it in a salad. This sounds wonderful and with chunks of chicken would be a great one dish meal. Thanks for sharing it.

    • July 6, 2013 at 2:27 AM #

      I like your chicken idea!

  15. July 6, 2013 at 12:26 AM #

    What a refreshing and delicious salad 😀
    I recently tried pears in salad and now I am eager to try this one too!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • July 6, 2013 at 2:27 AM #

      Pear is SO good in salads!

  16. July 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM #

    Such a great salad! Definitely need to try this 🙂

  17. July 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM #

    This looks so healthy and delicious.

  18. July 9, 2013 at 5:51 PM #

    Mmm I love barley and sweet/salty combinations are also my favorite. Gotta try this salad!

    • July 9, 2013 at 9:07 PM #

      I hadn’t had barley in so long…I had missed it!

  19. July 9, 2013 at 7:10 PM #

    I usually use barley in soup and a Chinese herbal drink…haven’t try it in salad yet. This looks wonderful and very refreshing especially in this hot weather. 🙂

    • July 9, 2013 at 9:07 PM #

      It’s very good in a salad!

  20. July 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM #

    I love trying new grains, though I haven’t had the chance to try barley yet. This sounds yummy with the fruit and vegetables in it!

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