- 1 ¼ cup pearled barley
- ½ cup walnuts
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped parsley- you can freeze leftover chopped parsley for future use
- 4 ounces ricotta salata - (I use feta cheese) about 1 cup
- Optional: 1 grated carrot, 1 can chick peas (drained and rinsed), chopped red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion or sliced scallions
- Preheat the oven to 350. Add barley to a large saucepan of water, bring to a boil and cook at a simmer until tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain the barley and rinse under cold water to cool thoroughly. Drain again, shaking out the excess water.
- Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 10-12 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Coarsely chop the nuts.
- In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Add the barley, parsley, and ricotta salata and toss gently (add optional ingredients, if using). Add the toasted walnuts, toss again and serve.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine magazine May 2008