Barley Spinach Pesto

Barley is a fav! grains during this time of year as it’s light, dry and a diuretic – helping to clear fluids from the body and improves sluggish digestion. I’ve been playing around with different ways to incorporate it this season.

Barley Spinach Pesto


1 cup whole barley

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

2 bunches spinach, stems removed

1 cup your choice fresh herbs (cilantro, chives, basil, pepperment, lemon balm)

1 cup olive oil

pinch of salt to taste



  1. soak 1 cup of whole barley in filtered water for 10 minutes. bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  2. In a food processor blend 1/4 cup of pine nuts + 2 garlic cloves + blend for 2 minutes.
  3. add 2 bunches of fresh spinach, stems removed, 1 cup of your choice of fresh herbs (cilantro, chives, basil, peppermint, lemon balm), 1 cup of olive oil, pinch of salt to taste + blend until incorporated, adding more olive oil as needed.
  4. add rinsed/soaked barley to water and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat or until water has evaporated.
  5. fold 4 TBSP of pesto into your cooked barley, adding more as you desire. Reserve remaining pesto as a topping for meals throughout the week – it’s yummy on sautéed or steamed veggies!

Tried this recipe?

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