Blue cheese, butternut & barley salad with maple walnuts

Blue cheese, butternut & barley salad with maple walnuts

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 6

Salads don't get much more robust than this – team roasted onions and squash, deep-flavoured cheese, crunchy nuts and healthier grains

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal479
  • fat22g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs57g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre3g
  • protein14g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks, seeds reserved
  • 2 red onions, each cut into quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 3½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • handful thyme sprigs, leaves stripped, plus extra to garnish
  • 300g pearl barley
  • 50g walnut, roughly chopped



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

  • 1½ tbsp maple syrup
    Maple syrup

    Maple syrup

    may-pul sir-rup

    The rising spring sap of a number of varieties of maple tree

  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100g baby spinach, shredded
  • 140g blue cheese, thinly sliced


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the squash, onions and garlic with 2 tbsp of the oil and some seasoning. Roast for 35-45 mins or until the vegetables crisp up in places – turning halfway through cooking and adding the thyme leaves. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, discarding the garlic. Cook the barley, following pack instructions, until al dente. Drain and cool.

  2. Meanwhile, rinse the squash seeds, removing any flesh, and dry thoroughly. Put the walnuts and squash seeds in a frying pan and toast until golden brown. Add ½ tbsp oil, the maple syrup, sugar, chilli flakes and some salt. Let it bubble for a few mins, until the sugar has caramelised. Tip onto a tray, allow to cool, then bash into pieces. Make a dressing by mixing the balsamic, mustard, remaining oil and some seasoning.

  3. Toss the squash and onions through the barley, followed by the spinach and dressing. Scatter over the cheese, nuts and some extra thyme sprigs to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th May, 2015
I am so surprised this recipe doesn't have more ratings. It is absolutely delicious. I used feta cheese instead of blue cheese as one of my guests was pregnant and it still tasted very good. The walnut and seed mix is devine. I let my seeds sit in the sun for about an hour so they were crunchy enough after toasting in the pan.
felicityd's picture
27th Oct, 2013
I'd definitely recommend using Colston Bassett blue cheese - delicious!
25th Sep, 2013
Great tasty salad. I cooked the barley in veg stock for extra flavour and didn't add the walnuts as I'm not keen on them. The squash seed brittle was unusual but mine was a bit soft so I ate it separately!!
6th Oct, 2013
would this work with grilled halloumi,as im not keen on blue cheeses
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