Strawberry and Fennel Barley Salad

Thank you to the California Strawberry Commission for sponsoring this post and the beautiful Strawberry and Fennel Barley Salad within it!

You guys know I love grain salads, so it only makes sense that one of my new favorites is this Strawberry and Fennel Barley Salad.

strawberry and fennel barley salad

This dish makes a great entrée or side. If you’re having it on its own, add some chickpeas and avocado to the mix to amp up the protein and healthy fat. If you prefer it as a side, it makes a fabulous one. We enjoyed this last week with some grilled steak; it would also make a fun and different holiday dinner or potluck side dish!


As with all of my recipes, this one is extremely easy (and quick) to make. To make it come together even faster, you could use 90 second brown rice instead of barley, although the barley adds a lovely chew – it’s one of my favorite grains.


Do you guys put fruit in your salads? The highlight of this salad is certainly the beautiful, juicy, and sweet strawberries.


Did you know that 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries come from California? (I took a trip to the strawberry farms this spring if you’d like to read more about where most of our strawberries come from!) Also, a fun nutrition fact: 8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange! No scurvy for us. ;)


The fennel is another big highlight – have you had it before? It’s delicious! Nice and crunchy with a subtle licorice flavor. Great in salads!


And you can use the greens as well as the bulb – just use them like any other herb.


As for the dressing, feel free to get creative, but I used my standard easy favorite: homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Ready to eat?


Here’s the recipe. Enjoy it!

Serves SERVES4     adjust servings

Strawberry and Fennel Barley Salad

Prep Time 10 MINUTES Prep Time
Cook Time ~40 MINUTES (FOR BARLEY) Cook Time
Total Time 10 mins Total Time


Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry barley, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel greens, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 (5 oz) container arugula


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)


  1. Cook barley according to package instructions. Once cooked, let cool.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk.
  3. Dress salad just before serving. Enjoy!


What’s your favorite strawberry recipe? Here are a couple other strawberry faves here on my blog:

Love CA strawberries? Show how thankful you are for their year-round growing season — snap and share a Thank You message to a CA strawberry farmer & be entered to win a prize! Click here for more details.


  1. 1

    Strawberries in salads are one of my favourite things! Spinach + almonds + balsamic = heaven. I’ve actually never tried combining them with feta, but I happen to have both in my fridge right now so will definitely be giving that a shot ASAP. Thanks for the recipe1 :)

  2. 2

    Looks good! I have been using a lot of arugula in my salads lately and just trying to eat more veggies in general.

  3. 3

    Yum! This looks delicious. I love arugula and sweet strawberries- especially in salads. Great combination!

  4. 4

    Fruit in salads FTW! Love the pairing of the fennel and arugula,will have to try this combo asap!

  5. 5

    This salad looks delicious! Pinned it immediately! :) I don’t have a favorite strawberry recipe, but I love adding them to greek yogurt.

  6. 6

    I love fruit in salads, especially strawberries! This salad sounds so fresh and delicious. I’ve been making an effort to try out new grains lately, so I’d love to try the barley.

  7. 7

    Great combination! I love strawberries, fennel and lemon together in a salad.

  8. 8

    Looks amazing, thanks Anne!

  9. 9

    I love strawberries in my salads. I bet the fennel/strawberry combo is delicious. I’m actually not sure I’ve ever had barley, but I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 10

    Yum! That is going to be a great recipe to use going into summer. Thanks!

  11. 11

    Yum! Thanks for the recipe. I love putting fruit in salads. This week, we’ve been adding pears, which are absolutely delicious right now!!

  12. 12
    Roadrunner says

    Anything with strawberries is always great; this looks particularly good!

  13. 13

    You had me at strawberry and fennel. Those two are such a magical combination and I know this will easily be my new obsession!

  14. 14

    This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  15. 15

    Ohh this looks delicious! I wish strawberries were still fresh by me. They’re starting to get really funky. :/

  16. 16

    That looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it out!

  17. 17

    So good. Made this for a BBQ this weekend, was a big hit. Thank you.


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