Squash & barley salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Squash & barley salad with balsamic vinaigrette

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(96 ratings)

Cook: 25 mins 5 mins, plus cooling


Serves 8
A flavour-packed, unusual salad that's delicious warm or cold - works really well as part of a buffet

Nutrition and extra info

  • Dairy-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal301
  • fat14g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.55g
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  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into long pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 250g pearl barley
  • 300g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into medium-size pieces



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…

  • 100g SunBlush tomato, sliced



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp small capers, rinsed
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 15 black olives, pitted
  • 20g pack basil, chopped



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

For the dressing

  • 5 tbsp 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…

  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place the squash on a baking tray and toss with olive oil. Roast for 20 mins. Meanwhile, boil the barley for about 25 mins in salted water until tender, but al dente. While this is happening, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Drain the barley, then tip it into a bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix well and let it cool.

  2. Boil the broccoli in salted water until just tender, then drain and rinse in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Add the broccoli and remaining ingredients to the barley and mix well. This will keep for 3 days in the fridge and is delicious warm or cold.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Sep, 2009
This is superb. The flavour is gorgeous. It keeps ok in the fridge, but it's best freshly made in my opinion. (The grains swell further with the dressing, so it seems a little drier).
22nd Aug, 2009
This was delicious and impressed my husband no end. I used pine nuts instead of pumpkins seeds. Really great combo of flavours and very hearty as a meal.
21st Jul, 2009
Great cold as a weeknight supper
17th May, 2009
Lovely but I found all the raw onion a bit much. Will roast it with the squash next time.
26th Dec, 2008
Made this for the extended family Christmas Day in Australia. Went fantastically with the turkey, chicken and ham. I used roasted capsicum as I didn't have semi-dried tomatoes - worked just as well. I added chopped crispy bacon to the Boxing Day leftovers, which gave it an extra texture and taste. I had requests for the recipe from the family, and this will definitely be in my recipe book from now on. Thanks guys.
25th Dec, 2008
Simply delicious. I served it cold but I think it would also taste rather gorgeous served luke-warm or just at room temperature.
17th Dec, 2008
Sounds really good, and I'll be giving it a try. as far as cold-rinsing for the broccoli goes - I've recently started doing this with veg for stirfry etc, and what a huge difference it makes to the colour - keeps all the colours really bright.
8th Nov, 2008
Just made this, halved the recipe and it was a decent amount for 3. Absolutely loved it, nice alternative to cous cous. I added some crumbled feta which worked well and cooked the squash for longer as it hadn't turned that nice golden colour in 20 minutes. Also I don't think you necessarily need to cold rinse the brocolli. All in all a delicious stand alone dish.
2nd Nov, 2008
This is a fantastic recipe, the list of ingredients can look daunting but it just means you have a enough to make it more than once. Is perfect for a dinner with the left overs making a delicious lunch. Vegetarians and meat lovers will both enjoy this!


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