Pearled Barley Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds, and Pine Nuts


Pearled barley cooked with onion and thyme is the base of this grain salad full of wonderful flavor and texture. Toasted pine nuts, tart apple, and deep red pomegranate seeds add crunch and color. Enjoy in the late fall/early winter when pomegranates are in season.

Pearled Barley Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds and Pine Nuts
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
6 servings


Thyme-Scented Pearl Barley

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) pearled barley

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 3 cups water

  • Kosher salt


  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces) pine nuts, preferably from Italy

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 small shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups Thyme-Scented Pearled Barley

  • 1 large tart apple, such as Honeycrisp, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Make the Barley

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the pearled barley and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly toasted; the grains will turn slightly opaque just before browning. Add the onion and thyme and cook over low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the water and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Fluff the grains and discard the thyme sprigs. Season the grains with salt to taste and serve.

Make the Salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

  2. In a bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the thyme-scented pearled barley, pine nuts, apple, pomegranate seeds, and parsley; toss before serving.

Make Ahead

The cooked barley can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The salad without the pine nuts can be refrigerated overnight; bring the salad to room temperature and add the nuts before serving.

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