janet @ the taste space

Pomegranate, Snap Pea and Barley Salad with Dill and Allspice

In Salads on February 29, 2012 at 6:04 AM

If you thought roasted celeriac, lentils, hazelnuts and mint were an odd combination for a salad… a delicious salad, at that… what about this one?

With a such crazy combination of ingredients in this barley salad – pomegranate, dill, allspice – I’ll give you one guess as to where this recipe came from. Not to throw you off, I added the snap peas.

Your one guess….. Ottolenghi? You’d be right!

Ottolenghi has this way of mixing flavours in the most unusual combinations. I often wonder what kind of mania is happening in his head. Flight of ideas? At least the recipes are tested before they hit the press, though. Right? Right?

This is an unusual salad, which Ottolenghi wrote in Plenty (recipe posted here). It is a nice wholesome salad, with an extra dimension from the allspice and dill.  Ottolenghi advises to cook the barley in plenty of water, but I find this creates a more mushy consistency. Instead I prefer to boil it with a 2:1 ratio of vegetable broth. I also prefer to toast my barley to accentuate its nuttiness. My other adaptations were to decrease the dressing and scrap the parsley altogether. The salad is overflowing with pomegranate arils which offers a sweet crunch, countered by the nutty barley, and accentuated by the earthy allspice and bright dill. The sugar snap peas also add a nice sweet crunch and we can always use more veggies. 🙂

While I like to rotate my grains, I am particularly fond of quinoa and eager to try my hand at Kate’s version of this recipe with quinoa and balsamic vinegar.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness and to this month’s Simple and In Season.

Pomegranate, Snap Pea and Barley Salad with Dill and Allspice

1 cup pot barley, lightly toasted
2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 cups sugar snap peas, rimmed and chopped (200g prepped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed
2/3 tsp allspice
3 tbsp chopped dill
1.5 cups pomegranate seeds (2 large pomegranates, 300g)
salt & 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.  When the barley is done, remove from heat and drain any excess liquid. While still hot, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the sugar snap peas, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice and some salt & pepper, to taste. Stir then leave to cool down completely (but don’t refrigerate).

3. Once cool add the dill and pomegranate seeds and mix. Adjust seasoning to your liking and serve.

Serves 4.


  1. Is it odd that I don’t think this is odd at all? I love adding an unexpected twist to dishes! A fruit in a gain salad is such a great was to make it more interesting! This looks wonderful!

  2. What a beautiful dish. I have been using pomegranate seeds in a few of my dishes lately. By the way, when you commented on my latest post and said the link didn’t seem to be working, can you give me more details? Just send me an email if you don’t mind.

  3. What a beautiful dish. For some reason I can never decide how to cook barley. I feel like I should cook it like rice where all the water is absorbed by the end but I always seem to have some water left to drain.

  4. Just added you to my Blogroll 🙂

  5. What a lovely salad! I just added The Taste Space to my reader (www.velvetaroma.com) too- having a hard time figuring out why I haven’t stumbled upon this wonderful blog yet!

  6. I am absolutely obsessed with pomegranate-infused salads lately (love that tangy crunch!) so I can’t believe I missed this in plenty! Shame on me.

  7. Janet this site ( http://www.desifoodbuzz.com ) has been using feeds and copying content into their site from a WHOLE LOT bloggers.. a fight started since yesterday after we knew about in Facebook. Trying to inform whomever we know. Found yours here http://www.desifoodbuzz.com/2012/02/29/pomegranate-snap-pea-and-barley-salad-with-dill-and-allspice/

    If there is one of yours there will be many! for they are using the feed and showing the whole post. (In the condensed post, click on the gray READ MORE button and then it shows the entire post) If you want write to them – there is email id in the About page. The comments are not being responded to. They are even running someone else’s Flickr stream!!

  8. […] 18. Simple and in Season wouldn’t be the same without an entry from Janet at The Taste Space, this time with a stunning Pomegranate, Snap Pea and Barley Salad with Dill and Allspice. […]

  9. Thank you so much for linking this up to Simple and in Season. As always, bang on brief. A lovely seasonal treat. Round up posted today x

  10. I love the combinations Ottolenghi comes up with and this salad is no exception. I have some barley I need to use up too. Thanks for sharing this with us at Souper Sundays. 😉

  11. Great combination, such delicious flavors in there. Pomegranate makes it look so pretty as well as taste so good with the barley and snap peas!

  12. […] – Pomegranate, Snap Pea and Barley Salad with Dill and Allspice – Roasted Celeriac and Lentils with Hazelnuts and Mint – Sea Weeds and Greens Salad (aka Kelp Noodles with Wakame and Radish Sprouts) – Grilled Eggplant and Mango Noodle Salad with a Sweet Chili Dressing – Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad – Ultimate Winter Couscous – Socca Pissaladière […]

  13. […] Cotter, but no, it was from another great, Ottolenghi. It was reminiscent, but better, than his barley and pomegranate salad I made last […]

  14. […] cooker for 20 minutes on high pressure. (For stovetop method for cooking barley, please see here). Once finished, remove from heat and stir in the dried cranberries and […]

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