Looking for salad inspiration? I learned about this 1-2-3 method at a kid’s cooking class and it’ll make all your future salads a breeze!
The cooking class called this a “1-2-3 salad,” which refers to the ingredient elements that make up a complete-meal type of salad:
- Greens: arugula, mixed greens, iceberg, romaine or kale are all good options! (I highly recommend massaging the kale when raw–simply squeezing it with your hands until it turns dark and fragrant),
- Fruits/vegetables/seeds: fennel, dried fruit, roasted squash or other root vegetables, cucumber, tomatoes, seeds, nuts, corn, olives, cheese
- Grains: farro, brown rice, quinoa, barley
This is my favorite iteration of the 1-2-3 salad technique to date!
For the salad
- ½ cup uncooked pearled barley
- 1 tbsp medium butternut squash or acorn squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head curly kale
- 1 bag mixed greens
- 1 fennel root, sliced
- ¼ cup craisins, golden raisins or dried cherries
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard optional
- salt + pepper, to taste
Prep the ingredients
- Rinse the barley and bring to boil in a medium saucepan with 1 cup salted water. Turn down heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes or until barley is fluffy, tender and chewy. Add more water while cooking if the barley starts to dry out.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the squash into small chunks. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.
- Once the barley and squash are done, let cool while you wash the kale and lettuce and tear into bite-sized pieces. Add the remaining ingredients to the bed of greens.
Make the dressing
- Whisk all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste!
I can not NOT loving this salad 🙂
Absoloutely unppin love with your blog and styling – so lovely!
I should be revising, but can’t help looking at all the posts… Whoops! Haha
It would be great if you could check mine out too! 🙂
Katie (The Muffin Myth)
Nice salad! We eat big assed salads for dinner a few nights a week as a part of our routine, but it’s nice to shake things up sometimes. I love to pack a big grainy salad like this for my lunches as well. I love the idea of butternut squash tossed in there. Yum!
The Hungry Mum
Yummo! We eat mucho salad [in fact, Miss8 is making one as I type] & it is great to see new ideas to keep things interesting.
that first picture looks like it could be on the cover of a food magazine! It’s actually so gorgeous, the colours are so vibrant, I want to make this my desktop background is that weird? no I didn’t think so either 😛 I love that this salad would be filling enough for a meal, I always have a problem with salads because no matter how massive they look they never really take up space in my stomach and I’m always left wanting to eat something else 30 minutes later. this salad would also probably make me feel better about all the cake I just ate, good thing we’re on the same page about that!
oh my gosh I love you 🙂 for so many reasons, starting with the fact that I share the need to repent for the cake I just scarfed for breakfast!
Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen
Your salad looks beautiful and delicious! I also love those salad tossers! How pretty!!
Thanks Kristi! 🙂
I definitely go though phases with salad also! And I am totally craving one after seeing this! A big ass bowl of beauty.
janet @ the taste space
How awesome. I used to do cooking classes with at-risk youth. The young ones were great for trying new things but when I did it with homeless teenagers they would complain if we gave them too many vegetables. lesigh This looks like an awesome salad, though. 😉
Haha! That’s hilarious. And sad. Gotta get em early! Thanks Janet 🙂
Oh my god, STUNNING salad, Erika! How vibrant and cheerful — perfect for this dreary weather we’ve been having. Yumm, love it. If any salad could get someone out of a rut, it’s definitely this one. Mmm. (Also, this “pin this” button on your photos, is it new? It’s amazing. Haha.)
Nora (Buttercream Fanatic)
This salad is a meal in itself – and it looks so satisfying! I am going to make it for dinner next week.
The Vegan 8
Erika this salad is so beautiful and looks so healthy! I love a good salad and never get sick of them…I just feel so good eating them. Especially after eating ya know, cookies, brownies and of course cake is always a good thing, haha! I absolutely love cake. I really love those salad utensils too…WANT!!
Haha, how did you know I’ve been needing some good salad recipes? 😉 This one really is easy and I love the colors and textures! Definitely not boring. You had me at squash and goat cheese!
Thanks Mary Frances! Don’t we all need more good salad recipes, amirite 😉
I’ve also been in a salad rut lately – except mine is more like, “I want salad, but no salad I can imagine sounds good…” Except this one! I’ll add this to my meal plan this week:)
Yay! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it 🙂 I’m sure you’ll soon be struck with tons of ideas for yummy salads, so be sure to come back and share!
I love salad. Actually, I should clarify: I love INTERESTING salads. This one definitely ticks all the boxes… crunchy, sweet, tangy, colourful, textured, delicious! Definitely trying this soon. And I’m so glad that you’re out of your ‘not eating salad rut’. I bet you feel better for it! xxx
Yes! Exactly! My boyfriend thinks salad = lettuce with ranch dressing. *shudder* (do you have ranch dressing in australia? ugh I hate it.) And I totally do, thanks lady <3
You’d think salad wouldn’t need “teaching,” but I have weeks on end like that where something I loved eating just went blah for me. This looks like a great combo of all my favorites, though, and definitely a spark of inspiration! I love butternut squash with cranberries and gorgonzola or feta; red quinoa is also an amazing addition, but I’ll have to try the barley, too.
RIGHT? That’s it exactly. I’m glad this could be a little bit of inspiration to you though–I’m getting so many awesome salad ideas from the comments! I’ve just been sticking to this combo lately but red quinoa and gorgonzola sound incredible!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
Erika, this will sound crazy to you (I think it’s slightly crazy myself) but the Chinese doctor told me that since my health is so bad and the air/force in my body is too “cold/cool” I shouldn’t eat raw vegetables. Meaning that even though I’ve wanted to eat salad in the past year, my family won’t let me. Sigh. Maybe I can secretly make this salad and sneak it into my diet because it’s all kinds of delicious. I love how it’s so easily changed and adaptable and girl, I love what you’re doing with your photography and styling. Beautiful, simple and effective.
Oh man gotta love those Chinese doctors! Actually, now that you mention it, maybe now isn’t the best time to be eating salad anyway. There have definitely been a few weeks this past month when I really wanted some hot soup to warm me up, so that doesn’t sound so crazy! That is hilarious that you’ve wanted to eat salad but your fam is protecting you from those cold vegetables! Well, the roasted butternut squash is nice and toasty, so you should get you some! Stay healthy <3
I share your fondness for slightly wilted salads. In fact, my favorite is a wilted lettuce salad made with oak leaf lettuce and a hot bacon, onion, sugar, vinegar dressing. Yum!
Oh my gosh, that sounds DELICIOUS! I’m going to have to try to get my hands on some oak leaf lettuce soon. I’m so intrigued by this dressing! Do you have a recipe?
Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin
I’m obsessed with 1) this recipe 2) those spoons 3) your photography skills. Come live in NC and teach meeeeee!
1) thanks 2) love you 3) come visit Houston and I will teach you all I know!!! (i.e. very little.)
annie @ chase that i love
Looks great! You included all my favorite greens. And I love those big salad spoons.
Thanks Annie! My friend got me those salad tongs from South Africa–how cool are they??
Natasha @ The Cake Merchant
Cake totally requires balance, so I need every salad recipe I can get. Lately, I’ve been really into roasted beets and goat cheese in my salad, but butternut, feta, and dried cherries sound like great additions as well. Also, yes to the dressing. Honey+mustard are a must!
Amen! Yum–there’s nothing I love more than goat cheese + beets in my salad, but I rarely have the patience to boil beets/I never have goat cheese on hand. This needs to change!
Amazing blog, Erika! Thanks for commenting on mine, too (thefreshmethod.com). It brought me to your blog and I love it. I could definitely use some cake inspiration to bring some sweetness to my recipes, so I will definitely be back. Xo
Thanks so much Jamie! I adore your blog–it’s so cute and your bright photos really caught my eye! I’ll definitely be back so I can get some more healthy recipes to balance out all of the sugar that will undoubtedly be taking over my blog in the coming weeks 🙂
Great looking salad!
Choc Chip Uru
This salad has everything!!! I love the delicious butternut squash with raisins combo especially 😀