Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Barley "Pasta" Salad

If you're looking to incorporate more whole grains into your diet, I recommend barley as an option! It's readily available, inexpensive, and easy to cook. It's got a great, slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor and is often featured in soups. But, what do you do when the weather is warmer and you're not in the mood for soup? Try this Barley "Pasta" Salad recipe from Cooking Light which features barley in place of pasta. It's quite tasty and surprisingly similar in texture to pasta salad.

2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped seeded tomato
1 cup thinly sliced spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup (2 ounces) diced part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped pepperoncini peppers (I left these out)
2 teaspoons dry oregano

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add barley; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

Combine the juice, oil, and salt in large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add barley, tomato, and remaining ingredients; toss gently to coat.

Makes approximately 5 cups (4-5 servings)

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