the taste space

White Bean and Barley Salad with a Tomato-Pomegranate-Tarragon Sauce

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on October 18, 2011

The week before the party, I made this delicious salad.

The super quick sauce was courtesy of The Breakaway Cook (recipe here). Deep, rich flavours from pureed sun-dried tomatoes, pomegranate molasses and fresh tarragon. I substitute a dried apricot and agave for the apricot jam and decreased the oil without any problems. The pomegranate molasses added a subtle taste but really added that extra dimension and it worked wonderfully with the tarragon.

I was so happy to love the sauce, because it made a ton!

Eric suggested serving it with orzo, but instead I went with barley. Wanting a more complete meal, I also added white beans and chopped Swiss chard. A cup of baby rainbow Swiss chard, because that was all I could harvest from my garden. ;)  I only needed half of the sauce.

It was luscious and glorious. I knew I wanted to share the salad because it was that good.

Sadly, the sauce was sopped up by the barley when I ate it as leftovers. Still good but not as sinfully saucy as the first night

Half the sauce remained. The party was the following weekend.

With two beans salads, I knew I had my grain salad picked out.

I just couldn’t make it in advance.

Because I already had a bean-centric salad menu, I opted to forego the white beans, and well, I didn’t have any more Swiss chard, so it was just barley for the party. With the glorious sauce, no one knew what they were missing.


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend and to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Suma.

White Bean and Barley Salad with a Tomato-Pomegranate-Tarragon Sauce

1 cup pot barley, toasted
2 cups vegetable broth
10 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes
1 dried apricot, soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup nondairy milk
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon, plus an extra tablespoon
1 cup chopped Swiss chard, stems included if thin
1.5 cups cooked white beans, rinsed if canned (Great Northern beans would be great here, but cannelini work, too)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium skillet over low heat, toast barley until lightly browned and fragrant. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add toasted barley and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Check at 40 minutes and cook until it reaches your desired consistency. I like my barley with a bit of a bite if using it in a salad.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce. Drain the tomatoes and apricots and place in a blender. Add the garlic, olive oil, nondairy milk, pomegranate molasses, and agave nectar in the blender and puree. Set aside.

3. When the barley is done, remove from heat and drain any excess liquid. Add Swiss chard and white beans, stirring to warm through. Add the sauce in increments: start with about half, mix well, and taste. I used about half, but keep adding more sauce and mixing until it tastes just right. Adjust the salt and pepper, and top with the extra tarragon.

Serves 6-8.

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10 Responses

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  1. Jeni Treehugger said, on October 18, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    That looks divine!

  2. Alissa - Not Just Apples said, on October 18, 2011 at 6:53 AM

    Yummy sounding combination of flavours!

  3. JL goes Vegan said, on October 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Beautiful. Hearty. And apricots! YUM.

  4. Joanne said, on October 18, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    I have a sweet spot for anything pomegranate-infused and I know I’d be slurping up that sauce with a spoon (or straw)!

  5. Deb in Hawaii said, on October 24, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    You are making the most of you tarragon. This looks wonderful–like the bean and tarragon pairing. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  6. Ashley said, on November 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    I love super flavourful dishes and that sauce sounds amazing! I love how you subbed a dried apricot and agave for apricot jam, that’s brilliant!

  7. [...] some of the veggies never materialized. Some just died like the zucchini, cucumber and rhubarb. I harvested some Swiss chard but not enough to make a whole salad. And the only thing I really wanted to grow from the garden [...]

  8. Suma Gandlur said, on November 8, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    This looks so colorful. Thanks for yet another lovely entry.

  9. [...] Muhammara (Syrian Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip) Iraqi Pomegranate Stew (Shorbat Rumman) White Bean and Barley Salad with a Tomato-Pomegranate-Tarragon Sauce Pomegranate-Lime Asparagus Quinoa [...]

  10. [...] White Bean and Barley Salad with a Tomato-Pomegranate-Tarragon Sauce [...]


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