Barley Salad with Pickled Cabbage, Watercress, and Arugula

By Laura High @healthwriter61
May 12, 2016
Barley Salad with Pickled Cabbage, Watercress, and Arugula

Some dishes are all about texture, and this one delivers a satisfying mouthful of chewy and crunchy in every bite. Avocados and apples add a creamy sweetness.

It’s said we eat with our eyes. The addition of purple cabbage to this dish adds a beautiful pop of color as well as a hefty helping of vitamin C. Avocado provides a healthy fat, and barley provides a chewy texture and loads of fiber.


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1 cup uncooked pearl barley*

1 cup shredded red cabbage

½ medium yellow onion, sliced thin

1 medium gala apple, cored and diced

1 avocado, diced

1 package watercress

1 package arugula

½ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

1 lemon


Rinse the barley and add to a medium sauce pan. Add three cups of water and a healthy pinch of salt. For more flavor, use stock instead of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 40 to 60 minutes* or until tender. Add more liquid if necessary. The barley should about triple in volume, yielding about 3 cups. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until ready to use.

While barley is cooking, thinly slice red cabbage and onion. Place in a bowl and add vinegar, tossing occasionally until cabbage and onion wilt and soften. Dice apple and avocado.

Wash and remove stems from watercress and arugula. Dry. Place a handful of arugula (about a cup) and half as much watercress on each of four plates. Place 1 cup of cooked barley on top of the greens. Divide remaining ingredients among the four plates. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, or your favorite dressing.

*Note: There are two types of barley: hulled and pearled. Hulled barley has the bran and endosperm intact so it has more fiber, is more nutritious, chewier, and takes longer to cook. Pearled barley has been polished, removing the hull and endosperm as well as some of the nutrients and fiber, although it’s still nutritious. Pearled barley cooks more quickly. If substituting hulled barley, add 20-25 minutes to the cooking time, and possibly more liquid.

Serves  4

Each serving provides approximately 400 calories, 18 g of fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 mg sodium, 525 mg potassium, 57 g of carbohydrates, 10 g of fiber, 8 g of sugar, 6 g of protein, and is high in vitamin A (25% DV), vitamin C (46% DV), and iron (19% DV).

Percent daily values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Your personal caloric needs may be higher or lower.




May 12, 2016