Cauliflower confetti salad with barley, roasted grapes and tahini dressing

July 18, 2016 Published by Dina

Grain salads can be quite beautiful when combined with colourful seasonal vegetables. This salad would make a good option for summer entertaining because it is all inclusive:  it has grains, vegetables and salad greens all in one dish. The barley can be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge, but the vegetables are best cooked the day you serve it. I made this salad with three colours of cauliflower: white, orange and purple, but of course you can make it with what you have.

Confetti cabbage and barley salad

Confetti cauliflower and barley salad

What else?

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that we were going to sail down the lake and stay on the boat for a few nights. Well, this is not happening. Something happened to the rudder and the boat is dry docked until it gets fixed and this may take a couple of weeks. In any event, we are going to the Joy Road Catering dinner at God’s Mountain overlooking Skaha lake, an event I wouldn’t miss. I’ll tell you about it afterwards.

My garden is growing like mad, herbs are taking over and the hydrangeas are so large and beautiful with pink and lime green blooms that there is hardly room for anything else. I did squeeze in Swiss chard and Kale as well as one tomato plant and have been enjoying the harvest a couple of times already. Imagine that, a garden on a rooftop yielding vegetables. I don’t grow a lot of vegetables partly because I love going to the farmers markets behind us and pick up  green and yellow beans still cool from the night, white, buttery new potatoes, peas in the pod and summer cucs that are crisp and delicious. I would like to support the local farming community and believe me, I do.

I hope your summer is going well and that you make good use of farm produce available to you. It’s worth seeking it out.

Cauliflower confetti salad with barley and roasted grapes

Cauliflower confetti salad with barley and roasted grapes


1 cup barley

4 cups cauliflower florets – white, yellow and purple if available.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

A handful of parsley, chopped
A few chives stems, chopped
13 cup nuts or seeds (pumpkin, pistachios, walnuts)

2 cups seedless grapes, red or green
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup water or as needed
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper

1 Belgian endive
A handful salad greens

Lemon wedges for serving


Rinse barley, place in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to simmer and cook partially covered until barley is cooked through but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
Drain and set aside.

Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet.
Roast in 400°F oven for about 20-25 minutes until they begin to colour. Remove from heat and add to barley.

Place the grapes on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sugar. shake the pan to coat all the grapes.
Roast in 400°F oven for 30 minutes until they begin to caramelize.
Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the dressing: add water to the tahini a tablespoon at a time and mix until it reaches consistency of whipping cream. Amount of water depends on how fresh is your tahini paste. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.


Assemble the salad just before serving.
Mix the barley with the cauliflower florets, parsley, chives.
Drizzle some of the dressing over and mix gently.
Add the endive and salad greens and mix.
Sprinkle the nuts over.
Scatter the grapes over.
Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Confetti cauliflower and barley salad with roasted grapes.

Confetti cauliflower and barley salad with roasted grapes.