This recipe from Michael Kelly, founder of GIY (grow it yourself), is perfect for summer.

"I am a huge fan of barley, which I think is a healthy, crunchy, cheaper and generally more local alternative to the likes of quinoa and couscous. This salad shouldn’t work on the face of it – strawberries and celery? But the dressing brings it all together. You could leave out the goat’s cheese if you want to keep it vegan. The dressing recipe is my go-to dressing for all sorts of salads – it’s simple to slap it together, so I often make twice the recipe to have it in the cupboard" – Michael Kelly

Yield: Serves 4


For the salad:

  • 200g pearl barley
  • 1 large handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 8-10 strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 50g slivered almonds or crumbled walnuts

For the dressing:

  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 45ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Put the barley in a saucepan, cover with water and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Then drain well and transfer to a large salad bowl. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Add the dry ingredients – spinach, celery, onion, strawberries, goat’s cheese and walnuts – and toss gently.
  3. Make the vinaigrette – combine all the ingredients in a jam jar, pop on the lid and shake well. Pour it over the salad and gently toss. Serve immediately.