Warm salad of braised vegetables and barley


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

A Simple Table

A Simple Table

By Michele Cranston

Published 2016

  • About

Onions, carrots, celery and garlic form the base of most European dishes in one way or another. It’s that magical combination of flavours, which, when cooked together, provides a kind of culinary harmony upon which other flavours are pegged—in this case, sweet pumpkin, earthy cumin, tangy lemon and the robust and mostly underrated charm of pearl barley.

Serve this alongside any winter roast or spoon it into pasta bowls and top with grilled sausages for a hearty meal.


  • 100 g ( oz/½ cup) pearl barley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) kent or jap pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and diced
  • 300 g (10½ oz/1 bunch) dutch (baby) carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped curly parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Put the barley in a saucepan with 1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) water. Add the salt and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Put the onion, pumpkin, carrot and celery in a large roasting tin. Add the garlic, cumin and olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes.

Drain the barley. Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir the barley through the vegetables. Transfer to a large serving bowl and stir in the parsley and lemon juice.