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It’s Ocotober! The evenings are starting to get a little shorter and a wee bit nippier. For me it is the perfect time to introduce warming grains into my diet. One of my own personal favourite is pearl barley. I love this grain, it is nurturing and easy on the dijestive system.

Here’s a wholesome and refreshing twist on tabouleh salad, which is traditionally made with bulgar wheat. Here, I’ve used pearl barley instead, which is low GI and wonderfully versatile. With a lovely nutty flavour and chewy texture it adds lovely balance to this zesty salad

This is a delicious dish served on its own or as a wonderful accompaniment to other dishes

Serves 6-8 persons


200 grams pearl barley (ideally pre-soak)

20 grams mint leaves, chopped fine

40 grams flat parsley, chopped fine

½-1 pomegranate, seeds removed and rinsed

2 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and finely diced

1 small red onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

Seasoning of sea salt and cracked black pepper

Handful of baby leaves (e.g. pursane, baby spinach, watercress)


  • Dairy free
  • Diabetic friendly
  • Low GI
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
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  1. Rinse pearl barley really well. Cover with boiling water and simmer for approx 25-30 minutes, allowing it to cook but still leaving a little bite in the grain. When cooked, rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.
  2. De-seed pomegranate, rinse and set aside. Chop mint and flat parsley then add to barley. Add diced tomato, red onion, lemon, olive oil, baby leaves and seasoning. Mix in ½ the pomegranate seeds. Place on a serving platter and top with rest of pomegranate seeds.

Maggie's Tip

  • Add crumbled sheep’s fetta for extra texture.