Lemons and Basil

Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash and Pearl Barley

Truth be told, I’m more of a spinach-kinda-girl than a kale-kinda-girl. I know kale is a superfood and what-not, but I find I just tend to gravitate to spinach… And I’m not entirely sure why. I think I’m just a habitual person. Every week I grab a 16 oz tub of organic spinach and another one that’s a spinach blend of some sort. I buy kale for “special” salads. Ones that have more interesting or fun things than my daily spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, dried peas, and goat cheese. Which means this Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash and Pearl Barley is one of those “special” salad. The kind of salad I don’t make every day, and somehow seems interesting enough to share with you.

Isn’t it funny the things we sub-consciously decide in our head? Things we feel one way or another about, yet never take the time to stop and ponder why we feel the way we do. Which is probably a good thing, because really who has time to sit around and think about WHY you prefer spinach or kale in your salad?

No one.

Including myself. It’s not until I sit and try to add dialogue to my recipe, that I end up pondering the oddest things. Which in turn means I waste nearly all of nap-time trying to find something interesting to say. Then all too quickly, one or both of the littles ones is up and I think, “I’ll finish the post tonight”.. which of course doesn’t happen, because I’m sleep deprived {hello four-month sleep regression} and fall asleep pretty much as soon as the two-year-old goes to bed… Apparently I also ramble when I’m sleep deprived. 🤣

Let’s see if I can get this post back on track.

Specialty salad or not, I really do love how this kale salad turned out. The inherent sweetness of the Delicata squash is amplified by the cinnamon and parmesan cheese and pairs wonderfully with the dried cranberries and homemade creamy lemon balsamic vinaigrette. The barley adds a great texture, while the pumpkin seeds contribute a lovely crunch, and of course what “specialty” salad is complete without a little goat cheese?

It makes for a great hearty lunch but would also serve well as a side salad for a dinner party. I can’t help but think it’s flavors would easily appeal to a crowd. And aside from flavors and taste, there’s so much good nutrition to be found – check out some of the facts below on the many nutritional benefits, along with some additional recipe suggestions!

Benefits of Delicata Squash

More Delicata Squash recipes:

Benefits of Kale

More Kale recipes:

Benefits of Barley

More Barley recipes:

Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash and Pearl Barley
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash and Pearl Barley is a new fav! The delicata's inherent sweetness combines perfectly with the creamy goat cheese and pearl barley!
Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Salad
Serves: 2
  • 1 Delicata squash
  • 1 tsp Coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 5-6 cups chopped kale
  • ¼ cup pearl barley
  • 1-1/2 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt, plain
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ¼ salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp black Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Remove seeds from Delicata squash and cut into ½” slices, sprinkle with coconut sugar, parmesan cheese and cinnamon, then bake 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, cook barley according to package directions or add ¼ cup barley to ¾ cup water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-25 minutes or until soft and chewy.
  4. Add all ingredients for Creamy lemon balsamic vinaigrette to small mason jar, then whisk together for 20-30 seconds or until well blended. You can also add all ingredients to small blender or NutriBullet.
  5. To assemble the salad, divide chopped kale between two large bowls or plates, then top each with roasted Delicata squash, barley, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, drizzle with Creamy Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette and enjoy!
Nutrition info includes two tablespoons of Creamy Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 357 Fat: 11 Saturated fat: 4 Unsaturated fat: 5 Trans fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 52 Sugar: 25 Sodium: 146 Fiber: 7 Protein: 13 Cholesterol: 11

Nutrition info taken from Dr. Axe.