Beet and Barley Salad With Date-Citrus Vinaigrette

Beet and Barley Salad With Date-Citrus Vinaigrette

Have fun with this early fall salad, meant for Rosh Hashana but festive throughout the season. Bitter and tart greens, like arugula, crunchy romaine and celery, pair well with shallots or red onion, dates, dried figs, a handful of multicolored olives and crisp, refreshing cucumbers. About a cup of cooked barley adds chew, but you could use lentils or chickpeas instead for more protein. If you can find them, heirloom varieties of barley add wonderful nutty complexity. Beets — used in ancient times more for the leaves than the roots — currants and green grapes lend color and sweetness, as well as a pomegranate, the symbol of fruitfulness by virtue of its many seeds. All these foods are symbolic of fertility, abundance, and prosperity in the New Year.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in foil. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. Step 2

    While the beets are roasting, make the barley: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Step 3

    While the barley is cooking, make the salad dressing: Squeeze the juice from the lemon (about 2 tablespoons) into a small bowl. Add the garlic and date honey, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the olive oil and set aside.
  4. Step 4

    When the barley is cooked, drain, rinse and drain again. Taste, adding more salt, if necessary, and let cool completely.
  5. Step 5

    When ready to serve, use your hands to gently mix the lettuce and herbs in a large salad bowl and scatter on the barley, beets, celery, cucumbers, shallots, figs and grapes. Top with the olives, pomegranate seeds and feta, and sprinkle on the dressing. Mix at the table and serve immediately.