Chopped Barley Salad with Pears

This colorful mix of fruits and vegetables creates a fresh and flavorful salad that pairs perfectly with a simple homemade pear vinaigrette. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an extra bit of crunch. Look for hulled barley (aka barley groats), which is less processed than pearled barley, with only the inedible outer hull removed.

By Shelli McConnell,


  • ½ cup dry hulled barley
  • 3 ripe Bartlett pears
  • 3 cups chopped romaine
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • ½ cup slivered red onion
  • ½ cup dried tart red cherries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted pistachios


  • In a medium saucepan combine barley and 1½ 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; run under cold water. Drain well.
  • For salad, halve, core, and chop two of the pears. In a large bowl combine chopped pears and the next five ingredients (through cherries). Stir in cooked, cooled barley.
  • For dressing, peel, halve, and core the remaining pear. Place in a blender with vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. Season with salt. Cover and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to reach drizzling consistency. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pistachios.

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Renée Thiffault


About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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