Warm Mushroom Barley & Kale Salad

Salads are always trendy each new year once we’ve packed away the holiday decorations and look towards starting the new year off with good habits. I’ve been making grain based salads for many years as the addition of healthy grains increases both the heartiness and nutrition of any salad.

This particular salad was inspired by my mushroom loving granddaughter. Sarah loves mushrooms on just about anything, and as an active seventeen-year-old, she works hard at eating healthy. I knew this salad pairing barley, kale, and warm sautéed mushrooms would be something she would really enjoy.

This salad can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature, and it packs well if you want to dine on leftovers the next day at work. Although I find the salad hearty enough as it is, you could add some sliced grilled or roasted chicken to the salad for those that need meat for dinner.

I usually use farro as my grain of choice in soups and salads, but for this salad, I decided to change things up a bit and used barley instead. Besides its robust flavor, barley is an excellent source of molybdenum, manganese, dietary fiber, and selenium, and a good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and niacin. I added pomegranate arils for texture, color, and a pop of flavor, but nuts, such as walnuts, or pistachios would be a welcome addition to this salad as well.

I have been working at getting some recipes scheduled ahead of time to relax over the holidays and enjoy family time. When this recipe gets posted in early January, I hope to be in Florida with our children and their families. However, one never knows with the Covid numbers growing daily if this planned trip will even come to fruition. We can only hope and appreciate any time we get to spend with loved ones over the holidays!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Warm Mushroom Barley & Kale Salad

Warm Mushroom Barley & Kale Salad

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Warm sautéed mushrooms add an earthy flavor to this hearty barley salad.


  • 1 Cup Hulled or Pearl Barley
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Cups Torn Kale, Stems Removed
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Ounces Mixed Mushrooms, Cleaned & Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Arils


  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste


    1. Cook barley in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 50 minutes for hulled barley, 20 minutes for pearled barley.
    2. Drain, and let cool to room temperature.
    3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and then cook the mushrooms until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes, stirring from time to time.
    4. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until blended.
    5. In a large bowl, mix together the barley, kale, warm mushrooms, and pomegranate arils.
    6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to mix.
    7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 425mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

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