Pearl Barley, Kale and Goji Berry Salad with a Sweet Spiced Dressing

The goji berry. This bright red-orange coloured berry that’s native to China is one of a long list of super foods. They’re a great snack and offer many health benefits too. I’ve a friend who swears by them as the best cure for a hangover. For me they usually offer a tasty treat eaten straight from the bag or sometimes I’ll add them to my bowl of hot porridge in the morning as they sweeten it perfectly.

When it comes to quality there are many varieties on the market but for me, without a shadow of a doubt the best goji berry that I’ve tried has to the ones from Iswari. These babies are brighter, plumper and so much more juicy. They sort of melt more in your mouth.


In this recipe I’m giving the goji berry more consideration. It offers this dish a tangy sweetness and I think you’ll agree that the red-orange highlights make for a very pretty plate of food. This recipe is super easy to make and it’s healthy. Although only a small amount of spice has been added to the dressing, it’s enough to lift the pearl barley and it contrasts perfectly with the sweet goji berries.

What you’ll need: (serves 6)

  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1 cup of kale, well washed
  • 1/4 cup of Iswari goji berries
  • 1/2 cups of flakes almonds, toasted

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of agave
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt



  1. Wash the pearl barley really well and cook according to the packet instructions. The brand I used suggested to cook for 45-50 minutes but it was ready after 40 minutes so keep an eye on it after the 35 minute mark.
  2. Place the goji berries in some warm water for a couple of minutes to rehydrate them. Drain well.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and toast the flaked almonds.
  4. While the barley is cooking you can make the dressing. Grate the garlic into a dish and mix with all of the other ingredients. That’s it. Use your tastebud intuition, you might like a little more or less of some of the ingredients.
  5. When the pearl barley is almost cooked place a steamer on top and add the kale to it. Leave it to steam gently until is becomes a vibrant green. Approx 5 mins.
  6. Remove the kale and place it on a plate to cool. When the barley is ready, rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
  7. When the kale and barley have cooled mix them together with the gloji berries. Spoon over the dressing and mix well. Season with a little salt and place on your favourite serving plate. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Prep Time: 5mins  Cook Time: 40mins


Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

4 thoughts on “Pearl Barley, Kale and Goji Berry Salad with a Sweet Spiced Dressing

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