This grain salad basically consists of 3 ingredients: barley, kale, and plums. It’s ready in 5 minutes but still, it is the perfect salad for a little freestyle-cooking in your kitchen. In case you don’t have any leftover barley in the fridge but bulgur or rice: Go ahead and substitute. Any cooked grain works well here. Couscous, millet, barley, bulgur, rice … you name it. You are not the biggest fan of kale? Honestly, who is (except me recently…)? Use swiss chard or collard greens instead. Plums are your least favorite fruit ever? No worries, you can substitute any other fall fruit like apples, pears, or even a roasted pumpkin (<– this actually does taste great). Dried cranberries make a great addition too.
Ok, now that I have told you how to make a totally different salad by substituting everything, I am asking you: Please, try this super delicious grain-kale-plum salad first and, in case you don’t love it, go ahead and substitute your favorite ingredients.
As you may notice, this salad only yields one big serving. I usually eat lunch home alone – ok, it’s not as sad as it sounds – since right now I am working from a home office. Hello, fridge within 5 feet of reach. So, if there are any leftover grains, there is usually some of it, but not an awful lot, which make it a great 1-person lunch. If you are planning to make this grain salad for more than one person, please check the note in the recipe part below for instructions.
Crunchy salad topping
By the way: Do not omit the topping. It adds such a great crunchy texture. I love it even more, when I roast the pumpkin seeds and almonds right before serving. You just have to put the pumpkin seeds and coarsely chopped almonds in a pan without oil and roast them over medium heat for a few minutes. You can use any seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, walnuts, or pecans. Ok, I am adapting my own recipes while I am writing them down. I have to stop now. The recipe below is really, really great – do not adapt it ;-)
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