Spiced Pearl Barley with Swiss Chard


This combination of earthy chard and chewy pearl barley is given an aromatic note with the hint of cinnamon, chilli and sumac.

Check out this previous blog here on how to cook pearl barley for this upcoming recipe.



  • 100g cooked pearl barley
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. sumac
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 or 4 large chard leaves with stalks
  • 1 fresh red chili (seeds removed)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Flat leaf parsley to garnish
  • Black pepper and salt to taste


  1. Prepare the chard by blanching for 30 seconds in salted boiling water.
  2. Plunge into cold water to cool and drain.
  3. Remove their stalks and central spine and leave the green leaves to drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Finely chop the onion, garlic, chili and chard stalks and sauté them in about 1 tbsp. vegetable oil for a few minutes before adding the sumac and cinnamon.
  5. Stir the mix for a further few minutes until the onions have softened and the spices have released their flavours.
  6. Squeeze in the lemon juice at the end of cooking and stir.
  7. Combine the barley grains with the cooked chard and onion mix; adding some roughly chopped or whole parsley leaves.
  8. Season to taste with pepper and a little sea salt.
  9. Arrange the wilted chard leaves as a bed for the barley and serve. This dish can be served cold or warm.

This Spiced Pearl Barley with Swiss Chard dish is a really hearty dish. It combines barely, a brilliantly versatile cereal grain with an almost nut-like flavour with nutritious swiss chard and spices.

Barley has a consistency that is somewhat pasta-like, with a pleasant chewiness. Visually, barley resembles wheat berries, although the grains are slightly lighter in colour. 
Barley is a wonderfully nutritious grain to have in your diet since it’s a very good source nutrients. Some include manganese, molybdenum, selenium and fibre. These little grains are also a good source of copper, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus and vitamin B1.

This dish is great on its own, but it also pairs nicely with a side dish or two of roasted veggies.

spiced pearl barley


spiced pearl barley with swiss chard

Chard is a nutrient-dense leafy green vegetable packed. It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll and enzymes.  

Sumac is a dark red spice from the Middle East made from ground berries.
It is a versatile spice with a tangy yet balanced lemony flavour.

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