Kale and Feta Barley Salad with Lemon Honey Balsamic Dressing

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We’ve had a thing for kale lately, hasn’t everyone?!  I still don’t know why it took me so long to jump on the kale bandwagon seeing as rapini, broccoli, and swiss chard are among some of my favourite veggies!

It’s true what they say, kale is delicious!  Our fave dish of late has been my White Bean Kale and Chicken Chili.  Kale is so versatile and so easy to prepare.  In this particular recipe it lends the perfect amount of bitterness to balance out the salty feta and the sweet honey in the dressing.

I already know this recipe is destined to become one of our favourite summer salads because of it’s simple preparation and light and fresh flavours.  Try it for yourself (and why not jump on the kale bandwagon while you’re at it!).


(Yields about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup kale, rinsed and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, halved (or finely chopped)
1/2 cup barley
1 tbsp. toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Honey Balsamic Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk 1 tbsp. each of balsamic vinegar, honey, and fresh lemon juice.  Continue to whisk while slowly drizzling about 3 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil until all the ingredients are well combined.


In a small frying pan on medium heat, toast the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes, tossing every minute or so until slightly browned.  DO NOT take your eye off them-they are notorious for burning in a matter of seconds!  (I speak from experience!)


Remove stem and finely chop kale leaves.  In small frying pan, sauté kale on medium-low with 1 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp. water for about 8 minutes or until wilted.
Set aside to cool slightly.


Cook barley on high heat for 20-25 minutes (the exact length of time will depend on how
soft you prefer the barley.)  Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool slightly.


Once the barley and kale have cooled to room temperature add feta and dressing and mix well until combined.

*We like this salad at room temperature but you could always prepare the ingredients and mix them immediately and eat warm (with gooey melted feta cheese!)


Garnish with pine nuts (whole or finely chopped) for added texture…and enjoy!


What’s your favourite kale recipe?

  • Lisa

    This looks delicious! We are going to try it today! Although, I dont have pine nuts in the cupboard so I may toast pumpkin seeds :)

    • Pumpkin seeds would be a good substitute or maybe even walnuts or pecans! Can you post some feedback on how it turns out?!

      • Lisa

        So, I ended up not having barley. Instead I used bulgar. I toasted the pumpkin seeds (I thinks pecans would have been great but I used the last of mine yesterday) I added black beans and chick peas, too. It was delicious — my kids ate it! Ken ended up throwing some raisins in his and loved it!

        • Lisa

          Oh…even Simon (9 months) loved it (probably the most out of all this kids)!!!!

          • Now that’s tweaking a recipe! I’m glad mine was of inspiration to you ;-)

  • Monica

    I bet that the feta makes it awesome! You are such an inspiration Lisa. xx

    • Actually, it does! Too bad I can’t eat it…intolerance to dairy ;-(