Apricot, Walnut & Barley Salad with Cardamom Dressing

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Apricot, Walnut & Barley Salad with Cardamom Dressing

Tender grains of pearl barley are tossed with caramelised apricot, fresh leaves and the rich nutty flavour of toasted walnuts, all brought together by a tangy mustard vinaigrette scented with crushed cardamom.


  • Sea salt
  • 75g pearl barley
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 60g mixed lettuce leaves
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • A handful of mint, leaves only
  • 35g walnuts
  • 4 apricots

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 20 mins

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1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Pour in the pearl barley. Cover, bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 mins till tender.
2. Meanwhile, crush 2 cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle (or use a small bowl and the bottom of a jar). Shake the seeds out and crush them.
3. Add 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp mustard and 2 tbsp olive oil to the cardamom seeds with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together. Set aside.
4. Tip the lettuce leaves into a large bowl. Finely chop the parsley, leaves and stalks, and the mint leaves. Add them to the lettuce.
5. Warm a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast for 4-5 mins till aromatic. Tip onto a board, cool, chop and add to the lettuce.
6. Halve the apricots. Scoop out the stones. Put the pan back on the heat. Add ½ tbsp olive oil and the apricots. Fry for 5-6 mins, turning once or twice, till browned and caramelised. Add to the lettuce.
7. Drain and rinse the pearl barley under cold water and shake it dry. Add the barley to the lettuce.
8. Whisk the dressing again and add it to the bowl. Toss everything to coat it in the dressing. Heap the salad up on 2 plates to serve.
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