• Bradley & Alyssa

This Salad is the Zest: Honey Lemon Mediterranean Salad

Updated: May 11, 2020

This salad is the closest thing to a vacation we’ve had since quarantine has begun. Denver weather has finally become more consistent, giving way to longer, warmer, sunnier weather (300 days of sun, baby). It leaves us craving fresher ingredients -- you know, the stuff you’d find in salads and smoothies. 

We hopped on the highway for the first time since "quarantine life" started in early March to do a mini-escape to Boulder, CO. After a short hike nearby a reservoir, we enjoyed a car picnic out the back of our car trunk and devoured these amazing Mediterranean salads. Incredibly easy to make and naturally high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Loved by both meat lovers and vegetarians alike. 

Course: Lunch Entree

Servings: 4


  • ½ cup cooked pearl barley (you can also use farro)

  • 8 cups baby kale

  • ¼ of a large red onion, diced

  • 1 avocado, cubed

  • ¾ of one cucumber, chopped (peeled or not -- we like to half-peel for some of the nutrient skin)

  • cup of feta, crumbled

  • 1 can (15 oz) of chickpeas (drained, rinsed, dried)

  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds

  • 5 mint leaves, finely chopped

  • Lightly sprinkle salt + pepper

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Honey Vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

  • ½ lemon freshly squeezed

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • 1 tablespoon Zhug (or whatever you have in your pantry regarding a blend of cardamom, cilantro, cloves, cumin, garlic, salt, and chili)


1. Put 3 cups of water into a pot, add pearl barley (with bouillon cube if you want extra flavor!), and cook for 25 minutes or until tender.

2. While that's cooking, start your salad base. Lay baby kale in a large salad bowl

3. Chop up red onion, avocado, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs and arrange over the baby kale

4. Add sunflower seeds, feta cheese, chickpeas, and pearl barley with the vegetables (doesn't have to be as OCD-sorted as we did, but it sure is pretty...see photo above for guidance)

5. Take a medium-size bowl and mix together all ingredients for vinaigrette dressing

6. Add the dressing over the salad, and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on top

7. Mix together and enjoy

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