Pearl barley salad with sauerkraut and roasted pumpkin

Barley has been cultivated in Estonia longer than any other crops – for over 4,000 years.  And pearl barley has been a staple food for Estonians through the ages;  it has even been a food fit for celebrations.  In the olden days, the tradition in Estonian villages was to make sauerkraut soup with pork and barley groats on Thursdays and Sundays.   Pumpkin became a commonly-used vegetable in Estonia in the 1920s–1930s.

Ingredients for 4

  • 0,3 kg pumpkin
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tb
  • sp honey
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 200 g boiled pearl barley
  • 150 g sauerkraut
  • 1 apple
  • 30 g green onion
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt

Oil dressing

  • 50 ml lemon juice (2 small lemons)
  • 75 g oil (to taste)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar



  1. Peel and chop the pumpkin into pieces. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with oil, honey, thyme, salt and grated nutmeg. Cut the garlic cloves in half and add them also.
  2. Roast in the oven at 180 ºC for about 30 minutes or until soft. Let the pumpkin cool and remove the thyme and garlic.
  3. Mix the oil dressing: add all of the components together and season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  4. Soften the sauerkraut by crushing and kneading between your fingers or pounding with a fist.
  5. Chop the green onion, peel the pomegranate, wash the apple and chop into 5 mm cubes.
  6. To serve: mix together the cooled down roasted pumpkin, pearl barley, chopped green onion, sauerkraut, pomegranate and oil dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Recipe Contributor :  Visit Estonia  / Janno Lepik, Head Chef of Leib Resto, Tallinn

Estonia, a secret well kept on the coast of Baltic Sea, is much closer and accessible by sea than you think. Its winding 3,700Km long coastline and roughly 2000 islands is by far more lengthy than its land border. Vibrant atmosphere packed with many regattas, Estonia is a place well worth exploring by boat.

Estonia has smaller and bigger yacht marinas to choose from located across the coastline and islands. In a matter of days, or in some cases hours, you can reach Estonian ports and marinas from neighbouring countries such as Finland and Sweden. By the shortest route from northern coast across the Gulf of Finland to Finland is just 25 nautical miles.

No visit is complete without seeing the UNESCO world heritage capital city Tallinn , the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe, as well as being a world leading hi-tech centre.  Visitors can also enjoy the tranquillity and natural beauty of Estonia, 50% of which is unspoilt forest.

For further information please go to the Visit Estonia website :



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