Go Back

Grilled Asparagus with Pomegranate, Mint and Barley

Grilled asparagus with pomegranate, mint and barley is a great side dish to serve either warm or cold.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 12 people


  • 5 bunches asparagus allow 2-3 spears per serve
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken/vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tsp salt

Pomegranate and Mint Sauce

  • 1 cup mint leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 small eschallot, peeled and chopped substitute with 1/4 red onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses substitute with maple syrup or honey
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 - 1/2 limes, juice and zest
  • flaked sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • For the asparagus, preheat a grill to 200°C and line a tray with foil. Arrange the spears flat alongside one another. Add a little salt and olive oil.
  • Cook asparagus for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through. They may need a little longer if they're thick spears, but don't overcook them as they're best when they're a little crunchy.
  • For the barley, rinse with water in a sieve, then add to the stock or water in a large saucepan. If you're using water, add 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for approximately 25 minutes. By this time, it will have tripled in volume, and be soft, but a little chewy. Once cooked, drain any remaining liquid.
  • To serve, spread the barley onto a large plate, put the asparagus spears on the top, then drizzle with the sauce.

Pomegranate and Mint Sauce

  • Whisk all of the ingredients togther, except the lime juice. Add the juice of one lime just before serving. Taste the sauce, then add the extra lime juice if you think it needs more acidity.


If serving the dish cold, you can grill the asparagus a few hours in advance, and refrigerate until ready to serve. The barley can be cooked a day ahead, and refrigerated until ready to serve. The pomegranate and mint sauce can also be prepared a day ahead. Just bring everything to room temperature before serving it.
To remove the arils from a pomegranate without making too much mess, cut it into quarters, then submerge the quarters in a bowl of water. Turn them inside out under the water to dislodge the arils. The white fibrous parts will float to the top. Scoop them out with a sieve or a spoon, then drain the arils and refrigerate until you're ready to use them.