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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 6 cups

Fresh pineapple steals the show in this eye-catching barley salad with tropical flavors. A base of tender butterhead lettuce is piled high with a delicious medley of barley, crunchy bell pepper, and aromatic herbs that are tossed with a citrusy and smoky cashew cream sauce. Hearty enough to be a meal on its own, this easy salad stores well in the fridge as long as you separate the lettuce from the barley mixture. 

Tip: Look for small, heavy pineapples, which tend to have the best flavor and sweetness.

Fresh Pineapple and Barley Salad being tossed with a fork and spoon while sitting on a wood tabletop


  • 1 cup dry barley
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 8 butterhead (Boston or Bibb) lettuce leaves


  1. In a medium saucepan combine barley and 3 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 45 to 55 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Place barley in a fine-mesh sieve; rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine cashews and enough boiling water to cover. Cover and let stand 15 minutes; drain. In a blender or small food processor combine cashews and the next four ingredients (through salt). Cover and blend until creamy.
  3. In a bowl combine barley, pineapple, bell pepper, scallions, and cilantro. Add cashew cream; toss to coat. Arrange lettuce leaves on plates. Spoon barley mixture on lettuce. If desired, sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro and ancho chile powder.

Comments (2)

(4 from 1 votes)
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Donna3 weeks ago
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What can I use instead of cashews? I have some health issues and am not able to have them at this time. This recipe looks so delicious and I’d like to try it.

Heather3 weeks ago
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Flavors were good, but not strong enough for my taste, although the left overs did taste better the next day. The flavors seemed to meld after chilling. I added diced, red onion, included some citrus zest and added extra chili powder for some additional kick. Easy recipe that I would make it again.

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