Barley and Pomegranate Salad

(Recipe adapted from “Plenty,” by Yotam Ottolenghi)


1 cup pearl barley

6 celery stalks, leaves removed and reserved, stalks diced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

2 small garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

2/3 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 large pomegranates, seeded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place barley in a sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.  Transfer barley to a medium pan and add cold water to cover by 4 inches.  Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until al dente (just tender, not mushy).

While barley cooks, dice celery and mince garlic. Set aside.

Drain barley in a colander and immediately transfer to a serving bowl. Gently fold in diced celery, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice or cinnamon, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover bowl lightly with waxed paper and let cool to room temperature on counter.

Chop dill and parsley, and seed pomegranates. Set aside.

Before serving, gently fold in dill, parsley, and pomegranate seeds. Taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed.

Makes 4-6 side servings.