Lily’s Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad

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Food and women collage

This month’s Community Recipe is Lily’s Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad. Simple ingredients and delicious flavors make this an ideal no-fuss, high taste dish for lunch or dinner. Community Recipes is a recurring feature where I ask a community member to share a vegan recipe with us. 

Lily Aronin contributed this recipe to honour the female biblical heroine Naomi in the Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves cookbook (more on that project later). 

An ancient grain in a modern salad

Barley has been enjoyed for thousands of years. It is a satiating grain with a nutty texture and flavour, making it a fantastic addition to this Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad. This filling ingredient takes this flavoursome salad from side to main.

About Lily

Lily Aronin is a holistic nutritionist, certified weight loss mentor, and mother of five. She

offers one-to-one nutrition support and facilitates online challenges on sugar detox and plant-based eating. She encourages people to treat their bodies with kindness and to set reasonable nutrition and fitness goals.

A biblically inspired dish

Lily created this Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad in honour of the biblical heroine Ruth. We read the journey of Ruth and Naomi each year on the holiday of Shavuot. 

Barley and pomegranate are traditional foods that celebrate Shavuot and are two of the seven sacred foods to the land of Israel. This recipe features barley as Ruth meets Boaz during the barley harvest. The lightness of the herbs and lemon symbolizes the bright future they have together and the spring season of Shavuot.

Bright and fresh flavours

This Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad is simple to prepare and bursting with freshness. The bright flavor of the pomegranate works wonderfully with the nutty flavor from the barley. The carrots and the red onion round up the salad with a good dose of vitamins and a bit of crunch.

An under-represented grain

These days, barley is most commonly associated with animal feed and making beer. But this inconspicuous grain deserves more attention, and more space on our tables. In its hulled form, barley is a healthy whole grain. It is a cereal crop which is one of the earliest cultivated grains – it has been cultivated for 10,000 years! It can be grown in difficult conditions, which makes this historical grain an ideal crop for the future as agriculture adapts to our changing climate.

Raw, crunchy vegetables

The barley is the only cooked ingredient in this Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad. The other ingredients are raw and simply prepared: finely sliced onion, grated carrot and chopped parsley give splashes of colour and intense taste. Pomegranate seeds are sprinkled on and decorate this dish like jewels.

Switch it up

This Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad is complete as it is, but open to additions:

  • Grate in zucchini or raw beetroot for more fibre and colour
  • Switch up the herbs for a different flavour
  • Add a cup of cooked chickpeas to increase plant-based protein
  • Seeds and nuts could be sprinkled on top, and even a little chili if you like some heat. 

Make it Kosher-for-Passover

This salad can be made kosher-for-Passover by simply substituting kosher-for-Passover quinoa for the barley.  The salad with quinoa is delicious and nutritious.

Food Collage

Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves Cookbook

Lily’s Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad recipe is featured in Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves, a Jewish female community cookbook. If you like this recipe, you will find many many more in the book to enjoy.

Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves cookbook features the short, compelling narratives of 20 female biblical heroines from the Hebrew bible, each paired with two healthy plant-based kosher pareve recipes inspired by the character’s experience.

Food Collage - plant based salad and home cook

This is a community cookbook by Jewish Food Hero and is the co-creation of 40 Jewish women. The twenty biblical narratives are contributed by Rabbis, Rabbinical students, Jewish teachers and emerging thought leaders. The forty-one plant-based recipes were developed by professional chefs and home cooks who are elementary school students, and great-grandmothers.

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Food and women collage

Lily’s Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad

  • Author: jewishfoodhero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 4


Lily’s Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad features simple ingredients and delicious flavors. It makes an ideal no-fuss, high taste dish for lunch or dinner



4 cups (400 g) cooked barley (or quinoa)

1 pomegranate, seeded

1 red onion, chopped

2 carrots, shredded

1⁄4 cup (10 g) fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon real maple syrup



  1. Cook 2 cups (100 g) of dried pearl barley according to package instructions and set aside to cool down for a bit.

  2. In a large salad bowl, add the red onion, carrots and fresh parsley. Gently mix the vegetables.

  3. Squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl with the vegetables and add in the olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables with the dressing.

  4. Add the warm barley into the salad and let it soak in the dressing for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Stir around 2⁄3 of the pomegranate seeds into the salad and serve garnished with the remaining pomegranate seeds.



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