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Grilled Peach Salad with Pearl Barley + Balsamic Reduction

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

The tangy balsamic, sweet peach, fresh basil, and nutty pearl barley combo sings for a great summertime meal.


  • 2 cups Pearl Barley
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 14 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • Rosemary (1 sprig)
  • 2 Peachess
  • 1 Avocado
  • 12 pound Green Beans
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Arugula (or lettuce)
  • 14 cup Basil (leaves, loosely packed, optional)

Cooking Instructions


    Place the barley, water, and all but a pinch of the salt in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir, turn to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the barley is tender. It will still be quite chewy but not crunchy at all.


    In a small pot or saucepan, place ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 sprig rosemary and set over medium heat and simmer. Stir occasionally and simmer for about 4 - 6 minutes or until the balsamic is reduced by about half and is thicker. It will coat a spoon but will also continue to thicken off the heat, so don’t over do it. When done, turn off the heat.

  • 3. GRILL

    Meanwhile, heat an outdoor BBQ or an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Slice the peaches in half or quarters (remove the pit without losing much fruit). Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Trim the ends of the green beans.

    Drizzle or brush the peaches, avocado, and beans with oil and place them on the grill pan - peached and avocado cut side down. Don’t move them - let them have contact with the pan to char. After about 2 minutes you can rotate for cross hatching or flip over as needed. Roll the beans to cook another side.

    When done, remove to a cutting board.

  • 4. SERVING

    Slice the peaches. Slice the avocado into 4 pieces. Plate a mound of barley and top with arugula. Then add green beans, peaches, and avocado to taste. Drizzle it all with balsamic vinegar. Garnish with torn leaves of basil to taste.

Check out our new features!


    brown rice, quinoa, orzo, farro
    add grilled tofu or soft cooked egg
    you can buy this store bought or just use balsamic dressing
    pineapple, mango, apricots, plums, or tomatoes can be grilled and taste great
    omit if preferred - add something creamy
    add mozzarella or burrata

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Try offering the barley with a dab of butter and maybe some garlic salt. It’s warm and cozy like pasta
  • The balsamic is fun to try dipping peaches into, my daughter was hesitant but happy with the grilled peach in general. It’s very juicy
  • If you need more protein, grilled tofu or fish is a great addition. You could add garbanzo beans to the barley, or just a scoop of hummus or almond butter
  • Topped with a soft boiled egg would be great

For Toddlers

  • Serve everything separate and chop up the peaches into small pieces
  • Avocado can be mashed or served in large chunks
  • Add egg, almond butter on bread, or hummus for more protein if needed

For Choosy Eaters

  • If not vegetarian, add some simple diced chicken
  • Boil some pasta instead of barley, or brown rice, or a combination
  • They can cautiously try the balsamic reduction
  • Serve with a piece of bread with nut butter
  • Swap or add to green beans for a vegetable that they will eat

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the balsamic reduction
  2. Cook and cool the barley
  3. Trim the green beans

Culinary Skills

When reducing balsamic, keep an eye on it so it doesn’t over-reduce. If it does, you can still eat it, but it will look like honey when it gets cold, and you can microwave it a bit before drizzling it on. You can also add a little more balsamic vinegar to loosen it up as needed.


When grilling fruit and delicate things, place them down and let them be. If you poke and prod too early the delicate fruit will tear and you won’t get grill marks. Once it caramelizes, they should easily lift off of the grill. If it’s taking too long, turn up the heat. This goes for both indoor and outdoor grilling.

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