pomegranate barley salad

by | Dec 12, 2019 | a slice of life, All Things Home, Decorating, Holiday, Recipes, Winter | 25 comments

A few years ago, some friends from our church brought over a container of…I didn’t even know what to call it.  Was it a side dish?  A salad?  A snack?  A hot or cold cereal?  But you don’t ask those kinds of questions when someone is offering you a homemade gift.  What they did say was this was a family favorite and some members of their family like it with maple syrup – pomegranate barley salad.

When I opened the lid of the container, I took a visual inventory of all of the ingredients…  barley, pomegranate seeds, chocolate chips, and walnuts.  Hmmm…okay.  Interesting.  

I got a spoon out of the drawer and tried it.  I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first.  The contrast of textures and flavors wasn’t something I had ever experienced.  But, I kept going back for more and I realized that I really liked it!

Since then, I have made this dish a few times myself and I still don’t really know what it is other than that it’s tasty.  Since I eat it cold and without maple syrup or honey, let’s just call it a Barley Pomegranate Salad.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

One thing I like about this pomegranate barley salad is that it’s simple to make, relatively quick (the most time-consuming part is cooking the barley), and it’s full of goodness.  I don’t know all of the nutritional details, but I’m sure antioxidants are involved!

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

(The scoops are the wooden measuring cups from Polder’s Old World Market.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for more details and a 25% off code.)

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

I think pomegranate fruit is both one of the prettiest and strangest fruit…

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

We’re still working with kitties not being on the counter!

I use dark chocolate chips for this pomegranate barley salad, but you can definitely use semi-sweet or sweet if that’s your preference.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

I’ve learned that the easiest way to seed a pomegranate is to remove the seeds and the pith and put them in a bowl of water…

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

Continue to loosen the seeds from the pith in the bowl of water.  The seeds will sink and the pith will rise to the top.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

Scoop out the pith with a strainer and then drain the seeds.  Mix the pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a bowl.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

Cook the barley according to the instructions on the box/bag, making sure to add salt to the water.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

When the barley is cooked, spread it out on a cookie sheet to allow it to cool before mixing it into the pomegranate barley salad.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

Mix together all of that yumminess…

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

I like to chill mine before serving, you can serve it at room temperature or warmed, like oatmeal.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

As I shared earlier, you can also add some honey or maple syrup on top for sweetness.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

I put my pomegranate barley salad in a jar to store in the fridge…

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

And, there you go!  A weird winter salad/cereal/snack, but it’s yummy!  The printable recipe is at the bottom of this post if you’re interested in giving it a try.  And, of course, you could personalize this in a variety of ways by adding different nuts, fruits, using different grains, etc.

pomegranate barley salad recipe | miss mustard seed

Before I sign off, I wanted to share about the wooden utensils I used while making this recipe.  They are all from Polder’s Old World Kitchen, a family-owned and operated business.  You can read their short story HERE if you’re not familiar with them.

Pomegranate Barley Salad/Cereal

This is a strange, but tasty dish that can be eaten cold as a salad or warmed as a cereal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • bowl
  • sheet pan
  • pot with lid
  • knife
  • strainer


  • 1 cup dry barley
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • honey or maple syrup optional
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Cook 1 cup of dry barley according to instructions (with salt added to the water)
  • Remove seeds from pomegranate
  • add pomegranate seeds, chocolate chips, and walnuts to a large mixing bowl
  • When barley is cooked, spread on a cookie sheet to cool. Once cool, add to mixing bowl
  • Chill
  • Serve chilled as a salad or warm as a cereal. Stir in maple syrup or honey for added sweetness.

You can find more holiday recipes, soups, and salads HERE.


  1. beverlee lyons

    I love every single ingredient, especially the fruit and barley. Too many carbs, for this diabetic, but I might splurge just a little. Looks so wonderful!

  2. FIL

    5 stars

    Don’t let the girls get into the chocolate. Cats and chocolate are mutually exclusive.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, I kept her away! She was just sniffing and then I shooed her down. 🙂

  3. Shawna

    This recipe looks yummy! I discovered Polder’s through your blog about three years ago and fell in love. Since then I have ordered something special for my mother-in-law for her birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc. She really does love them-and so do I! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful family with such amazing talent with your readers! Without you, I would have never known about them! BTW-what type of wood is your honey dipper?

  4. Karen L.

    I’m glad to see this—very different and fun! Thanks, Marian. (I am glad you shooed her away. We had a cat many years ago and we didn’t let him up on the table or counters where food was; after all, that cute nose was just licking herself in not so wonderful places! The current cultural change of the elevation of pets to near-human status, though beloved, is not something that makes sense to me, even though we loved our pets.)

  5. Molly M Staggs

    This looks yummy and I hope to try soon. We have issues keeping our cats off the counter tops too. We keep a can of compressed air nearby and squeeze the trigger (in their general direction. I don’t spray directly on them). They scoot away as fast as possible! I wish I could say they’re trained. I just keep cleaning my counters!

    • Marian Parsons

      Compressed air is brilliant! I’ve used a water spray bottle, but the air is even better. Yeah, cats don’t have that desire to please that dogs do. It is a good reason to keep those counters clean, though!

      • Nancy in WA

        What we have found to work the best in keeping cats off the table is to fill a small lidded tin with something that will rattle, such as some screws or washers, and shake it whenever the “rules” are being violated. I think my husband found this strategy on the internet somewhere and it has saved us so much grief!

        • Amy

          Had the same problem with my curious boy. A spray bottle only worked if he got a little wet. A cute candy tin with loose change works great when shaken. Marian, I must admit since you adopted your two sweet fur girls they’re the first things I look for in your posts. And your purring cuddle posts on IG… sigh.

  6. Julie | Home On The Hill

    Those measuring cups are very cute – so I checked them out but at massive huge whopping $423.33 Australian dollars before postage I don’t think I’ll be ordering any soon. :O But seems they sell a lot from what they say about wait times on their website – maybe it’s time to change careers & become a wood carver!! LOL

    • Marian Parsons

      Ooo…wow. They do have individual pieces that are less!

  7. Jeanine

    Haha, we have a time keeping our cats off the counters too, especially our Calico! I saw that you use water in a spray bottle, and that’s the best thing we’ve found as well. It does work, but consistency is key, and I’m not very good about that. Our biggest problem is that we have a two level island, and our calico, Tiramisu, insists on perching on the top level while I make coffee in the morning. She loves eating the coffee grounds!

  8. Terrie in Atlanta, GA

    🐾 BREAD IN BAGS! Have you experienced the kitty theft-claw-destroy-eat thing that happens if you accidentally don’t use a breadbox, Marian? It’s a crazy cat thing. Why bread…Why plastic bags…Why do these creatures remain mysteries to those of us who are used to understanding Dog Language?!
    (But, oh! How very cute they can be… 😉

  9. Jan

    Hi, to keep the cat off the table, chair, counters are any where that you don’t want to be or scratch, use a spray bottle of apple cider vinegar. That keep them off things.

  10. Audrey

    The salad/cereal/snack looks great and I think I may try it. But the Dreamware! Wowza. I don’t know very many people who can afford these. They are beautiful and I appreciate the workmanship that goes into them but they are out of my price range!

  11. Barbara

    May I ask where you get the square chocolate bits, Marian? I just love their shape. The salad looks very interesting…I may have to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Marian Parsons

      Those are dark chocolate chips from Target. They were the darkest I could find…I think 70%.

    • Sharon Rexroad

      You beat me to the question, Barbara. And now, another excuse to go to Target!

      Oh darn…

  12. Vikki Nay

    This salad looks yummy so I will definitely have to try it, thanks for the recipe. I also love love LOVE the wooden utensils, really my thing. I have had really good luck with getting the seeds out of pomegranates by cutting them in half and then turning them cut side down over a bowl and whacking them with a spoon. Sounds weird, but really works!

  13. Judy Karlson

    Hello Marion….the barley does not work well with my Celiac. What other grain would you recommend that would blend in with the other ingredients? Perhaps rice?

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, rice would definitely work!

  14. Amy

    This is when having an old-fashioned kitchen is a good thing. No open floor plan here. When the boys get rambunctious, I toss a felt mouse into the next room and close the kitchen door. 😉

  15. Kim

    I love working with beautiful items and the wood is so lovely I checked out the website. I can’t even fathom what would make the starter set of a few utensils sell for over $900! Way out of the price range of middle income families.

    • Julie | Home On The Hill

      That was my point above as well Kim – try converting the prices to Australian dollars for an even bigger shock – but make sure you are sitting down first!! LOL 🙂

      As nice as they are I don’t see them anywhere near worth what they are asking – especially compared to the prices in Marian’s latest post about the metalsmith in Florence – where his prices for hand made pieces seem way to low & he makes pieces for famous retailers! I did find a wooden measuring spoon set here online in Australia of similar style for only $19.99 which in USD is about $13.70 – it was called the Academy Eliot Wooden Measuring Spoons 4 Piece Set. 🙂

  16. Pat McLaughlin

    I switched quinoa for the barley (it’s what I had on hand) and pecans for walnuts (personal preference). We loved it!! We decided we’ll eat it as salad. I’m planning to make more for Christmas Eve dinner. Thanks for sharing!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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