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Bright coloured barley salad with tomato, avocado, microgreens, on a plate with blue and yellow scrolled design. A white napkin with green stripes at top right corner
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Barley Salad with Tomato, Avocado and Microgreens

Nutritious Pearl Barley Salad with Tomato, Avocado, Figs and Microgreens. With an option of an Citrus Honey Dressing or a Yogurt Citrus Pepper Dressing. Pressure cook the Barley. Easy to put together. Add pomegranates for more flavour and sunflower seeds for texture.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Avocado Tomato Barley Salad, Barley Salad, Microgreen Recipes, Pearl Barley Salad
Servings: 2 Servings
Calories: 693kcal
Author: Sujata Shukla


  • Pressure Cooker
  • Salad Spinner
  • Chopping Board and Knife
  • Small Pan
  • Zester
  • Colander


For Cooking The Barley

  • ½ cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil Olive oil/ Sunflower oil with mild flavours
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • a few curry leaves minced
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock Or chicken stock or Water

For Toasting the Sunflower Seeds

  • 2 tablespoons Sunflower seeds

For The Barley Salad

  • ½ cup A Citrusy Salad Dressing Click on the name for recipe link
  • 1 Avocado 1 cup avocado slices, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice For the avocado. See instructions below.
  • 30 Cherry Tomatoes 1 cup cherry / grape tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 Pomegranate ½ cup pomegranate
  • 4 Figs 1 cup ripe fig, sliced thin
  • 1 cup Salad Greens shredded
  • 1 cup Micro-greens
  • 1 tablespoon Raisins
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 1 tablespoon Goat cheese optional


To Cook the Barley

  • Instructions here are for Pearl Barley, as other types may have different cooking times and liquid (stock/ water) requirements
    Rinse and drain the Barley, drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel or salad spinner. Line the salad spinner with a kitchen towel to prevent the small grains from going out.
    Heat the pressure cooker and add oil. A mild flavoured oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil is recommended (instead of strong ones like coconut, mustard or sesame oils which would overpower the flavour of the ingredients).
    Add the dried barley, curry leaves (shredded/ minced) and salt.
    Saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Add stock/ broth/ water, and stir. Stock or broth would add flavour to the barley. Close the cooker and keep on high heat until the first whistle (about 3 minutes for ½ cup of barley). Reduce the heat to low/ sim and cook for 10 minutes or until 2 more whistles, whichever is earlier.
    Remove the cooker from the heat and release pressure so that the barley stops cooking. Once pressure is released, drain and spread the barley on two plates, so that the grains separate instead of sticking into clumps. Use two plates as it will help in arranging the salad later on and to give the barley more space.

To Toast the Sunflower seeds

  • While the barley is cooking, heat a small pan and roast the seeds, without adding oil. Keep on high heat for about 45 seconds, stirring all the time, till the seeds darken and begin to crackle.
    Transfer immediately to a heat proof bowl to stop them from toasting further.


  • While the barley is cooking, we can get on with the rest of the salad ingredients.
    Rinse the micro-greens gently and pat or spin dry. They are usually delicate so handle them carefully. If there are long stems, slice away the stems and chop them small. These can be added to the salad too.
    Rinse and pat or spin dry the salad greens. Slice or tear them into bite sized pieces.
    Slice the cherry and grape tomatoes into halves or further quarters for large ones
    Slice off the top and bottom of the figs and slice them thin
    Extract pomegranate arils
    Zest the lemon to use for salad dressing or for another recipe. Slice and squeeze the juice.
    Dice the avocado into small even sized pieces, about 1 cm or smaller. Add lemon juice, stir gently, cover and keep in the fridge till required. The lemon juice will help the avocado remain fresh and not brown.

To Make Barley Salad with Avocado and Tomato

  • I like to layer the ingredients for this salad as in the instructions below, so that every forkful has crunch and texture and bursts of different flavours. You could of course, just put the cooked barley in a bowl and add the sliced tomatoes, figs, avocado, add salt, toss gently and then add pomegranate arils, sunflower seeds and raisins, finishing up with the micro-greens.
  • Take two plates and place the shredded/ sliced salad greens across. Add the barley from one of the plates on which it had been spread, equally on each plate. Follow this up with some sunflower seeds and pomegranate arils.
  • Divide the tomato and fig slices between the two plates.
    Divide the avocado slices between the two plates.
    Now add the remaining barely to both salad plates.
    Sprinkle the balance pomegranate and sunflower seeds and the raisins on both plates.
    Finish up with the micro-greens. As an option, you can add some grated goat cheese or feta to the salad.
  • When ready to serve, add the salad dressing. I recommend the tahini citrus dressing (link in the post above) or a yogurt citrus dressing. Ensure there is salt in the salad dressing so that it can be uniformly added to the Salad. If you add salt to the salad, you will need to stir it in.
    Note: The nutritional facts below do not include those for the salad dressing, and do include goat cheese


Serving: 500gm | Calories: 693kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 862mg | Potassium: 1909mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 2236IU | Vitamin C: 93mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 5mg