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Roasted Carrots Mediterranean Barley salad with Spinach and Mint

Heart-healthy, nutritious and delicious Mediterranean barley salad loaded with roasted carrots, crunchy nuts, leafy greens, fresh herbs, and a luscious creamy balsamic dressing. This vegan superfood bowl is a meal-prep-friendly salad you will want to make on repeat.
This easy Roasted Carrots Mediterranean Barley salad with spinach and mint is a fresh, colorful, and absolutely mouthwatering salad that will make your tastebuds feel alive. Featuring roasted carrots, fluffy fragrant grains, nutritious silky spinach, and crunchy salted nuts paired with lots of fresh herbs…it’s a nutritional powerhouse of delicious proportions served in a bowl.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone - Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

Barley Grains

  • 1 cup Barley Uncooked
  • 3 cups Vegetable Broth
  • Pinch of salt

Roasted Vegetables

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4-6 Carrots Sliced
  • 1 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Salt

Balsamic Dressing

  • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (optional, but makes it extra creamy)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard

Instructions

Cooking barley on a stovetop

  • Rinse the barley before cooking. Pour the barley into a pot and cover it with the vegetable broth. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil (keep a close eye on the pot because barley tends to want to boil over). Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and let the barley cook until the water has absorbed. Pearl barley will need to cook for around 35-minutes and pot barley will need to cook for closer to 50-minutes. 
    Once the barley has cooked, remove it from the stove and leave to cool a little.

Cooking barley in an instant pot 

  • Add 1 cup barley to the instant pot and cover with 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock. Add a pinch of salt. Make sure the ceiling ring is in place and close the lid shut with the nob turned towards the ceiling. 
  • Cook on high pressure with the quick release on for:
    Pearl barley instant pot cooking time: 20-minutes 
    Pot barley instant pot cooking time: 25-minutes 
    Use the natural pressure release until the pin drops (should take around 25-minutes).
    Once the barley has cooked, carefully stir it with a spoon to make it fluffy and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes before adding the vegetables.

Making the dressing 

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or jar until combined. Set aside.

Making the roasted carrots 

  • Heat oven to 400f and line a baking sheet with baking paper. 
  • Place the carrots on the lined baking sheet and season with olive oil, salt, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Toss to coat the carrots and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the carrots are roasted to your satisfaction. 
    Chop the salted nuts roughly. 

Making the salad

  • Once the grains are cooked, add the spinach, chopped nuts, half of the chopped herbs, and balsamic dressing, and toss to combine. Garnish with the rest of the herbs and serve.