Grain Salad Recipe with Moroccan Spices

This delicious grain salad recipe is perfect for summer lunchboxes and BBQs.

This grain salad recipe is packed full of all kinds of pulses, grains, seeds and tossed with crunchy vegetables and a Morrocan-inspired salad dressing. The secret to the deliciousness in this dish is a spoonful of pomegranate molasses in the dressing, and another drizzled on top.

Pomegranate molasse is an ancient ingredient, and it’s not just found in the middle-east. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese have all used pomegranate molasses in recipes – even archaeologists have found it preserved in ancient tombs. The Greek goddess of Spring, Persephone, broke her fast with a pomegranate and took her back into the depths of winter.

grain salad recipe

I made this grain salad recipe for a beautifully warm day in Spring, and it went down wonderfully with an ice cold drink. I plan on making this again for some summer BBQs later on in the year. It’s totally different to the usual rice/pasta salad, and when you serve this up to your guests they’ll love how refreshing it is against sticky BBQ meats and vegetables.

Any type of grain you have in your cupboards will do – but make sure to separate the ones that take longer to cook, like brown rice and pearled barley, than those that need 20-30 minutes – like lentils and split peas.

Grain Salad Recipe

Course Salad
Cuisine Morrocan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 people


For the salad

  • 300 grams Pearled barley, brown rice, whole buckwheat (grains that take longest to cook)
  • 300 grams Quinoa, lentils, split peas (grains that take the least time to cook)
  • 50 grams diced dried apricots
  • 50 grams diced red onion
  • 50 grams diced red and yellow peppers
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsps mixed seeds or nuts
  • 1 handful rocket to serve

For the Moroccan-spiced dressing

  • 2 tbsps pomegranate molasses
  • 6 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Pour the grains that take the longest to cook into a large pan of salted boiling water for 30 minutes, then add the other grains and cook for a further 20-30 minutes until everything is cooked through. Drain and rinse with cold water and leave to one side.

  2. Prepare the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk thoroughly until combined.

  3. Place the chopped vegetables, grains and dressing into a medium bowl and toss through the dressing.

  4. Serve on a platter with mixed rocket, watercress, and spinach leaves. Sprinkle some mixed seeds on top and drizzle over a little more pomegranate molasses.

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