Published on September 22nd, 2010 | by Rachel Shulman


Roasted Carrot, Preserved Lemon, and Pearl Barley Salad (vegan recipe)

Preserved lemons are one of my favorite secret ingredients. They’re made by packing whole lemons in salt and their own juice. After a month, the lemons are shrunken and entirely edible (except for the seeds of course). Being able to eat the pith and the skin gives preserved lemons a more intense lemony flavor than fresh lemon juice and zest.

You can find preserved lemons at global food stores or specialty stores. When buying preserved lemons, I like Moroccan Beldi lemons. You can also easily make your own preserved lemons at home.

Preserved lemons are absolutely necessary in North African dishes like tagines. But they can also turn simple roasted or sauteed vegetables into something interesting and exotic. Give them a try in my vegan barley salad.

Roasted Carrot, Preserved Lemon, and Barley Salad

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized coins
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 small preserved lemons (or 1-2 large ones – use as many lemons as you need to fill a 1/4 cup with peel)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 3/4 cups pearl barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (reduced-sodium)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
  • 1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roast carrots:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place carrots in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer carrots to a cookie sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, until just barely tender. Transfer carrots to a plate to cool to room temperature.

Cook barley:

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over medium high heat. Cook onion until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Add cardamom and stir for a few seconds until combined with onions.

Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, about 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of the liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Transfer barley to a reserved shallow baking pan and spread to cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Prepare lemons:

While the barley cools, halve preserved lemons and scoop out flesh, keeping both flesh and peel. Dice enough peel to measure 1/4 cup. Put lemon flesh in a sieve set over a bowl and press with the back of a spoon to extract juice.

Assemble salad:

Transfer cooled barley and carrots to a large bowl. Add preserved lemon peel and juice, fresh lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, almonds, dates, and salt to taste. Toss to mix well.

This salad can be made 1 day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. I like to make this salad on the weekend and then bring it to work for lunch during the week. It’s also a great candidate for fall barbecues and picnics. Return to room temperature before serving.

Image courtesy of Chiot’s Run via a Creative Commons license.

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (, friend me on Facebook (!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • Support our Site!

  • Let’s Connect!

  • Popular Posts & Pages

    Whether you are looking to completely give up animal products or just want to try eating vegan some of the time, we want to support you! Below, you’ll find articles answering some common questions about vegan cooking and nutrition. If you don’t see your question answered below, please get in touch with us! We are happy to investigate for you!

    Find out what's in season now, plus get plenty of recipe inspiration to help you make the most of every season's beautiful, local fare.

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Top Sustainable Food Jobs of the Week.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.