No.54 Pearl Barley, Kale & Asparagus Salad (Amended)

Here is a simple summer salad I came up with whilst trying to use up the pantry. Pearl barley is normally a stable of stews and soups but once cooked and cooled has a chewy wholesome texture. When you mix it with the buttermilk and lemon it brings out a new dimension to it. Topped up with asparagus,kale and peas your packing in the vegetables.

The key to this dish is preparing the barley and the asparagus the night before. By doing this the following day you can have this ready in 10 to 15 minutes which is perfect for then going and enjoying your dinner in the “Scottish summer”.

Amended: This recipe has been tweaked form the original. It’s has been rewritten in parts do it is clearer and directions have been simplified.


Time: 40 minutes to day before and 15 minutes on minutes on the day.

Serves: 2-3

Difficulty: Straight Forward

150g of Pearl barley

8-12 stalks of Asparagus

75g of Peas

75g of Kale (stems removed)

1 tablespoon of Lemon juice

3-4 tablespoons of Buttermilk

Good quality Rapeseed oil or Olive oil

25g of chopped or whole Hazelnuts



The night before

  1. Start by simmering your pearl barley in water for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, coat the asparagus in a little oil and grill in the oven 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Refrigerate over night.

On the day

  1. Roughly chop your kale removing any hard stems.
  2. Add the peas and the kale to a large. Fill with water to cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. If you prefer your kale uncooked just wash and leave to the side.
  3. Drain the peas and the kale. Blanche in cold water for five minutes and drain.
  4. With your pearl barley add the buttermilk and lemon juice. Mix well.
  5. Chop the asparagus and add to the pearl barley. Add the kale and peas. Add rapeseed oil to taste ( about 2-3 tablespoons) Mix well.

6. Serve and top with the hazelnuts.

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