Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mediterranean Barley

This super fast and healthy recipe for Mediterranean Barley is from the April, 2001 issue of Cooking Light magazine. It's been sitting in my pile of dishes I want to make for a while and when I saw a bunch of fresh arugula at the grocery store I grabbed it with this in mind.

I did make a few adjustments to the recipe. I cooked my barley in vegetable broth as it is my favorite way to prepare barley that I'm going to eat without a sauce. I also added half of an English cucumber that I had leftover from lunch and I cut back on the sundried tomatoes to only about 1 Tbsp. because I'm not a big fan. I didn't have any pistachios so I meant to substitute by sprinkling with pine nuts but I forgot. The extra crunch would have been nice so next time I'll definitely remember to add some nuts on top.

The ingredients may seem a bit boring, but I was pleased with how tasty this actually turned out. Goes to show how much flavor you can get from simple ingredients.

Mediterranean Barley with Chickpeas & Arugula
Serves 4

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 cup packed arugula leaves
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3 Tbsp. finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
1 (15½-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped pistachios

Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt. Combine barley, arugula, bell pepper, tomatoes, and chickpeas in a large bowl.

Combine lemon juice, oil, salt, and crushed red pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over barley mixture, and toss. Sprinkle with pistachios.

Serving size is 1¼ cups barley mixture and 1½ teaspoons pistachios.

Nutritional Information per serving as published in the magazine
Calories: 360; Fat: 10.1g (sat: 1.4g, mono: 6.1g, poly: 2g); Protein: 10.1g; Carb: 59.9g; Fiber 12.4g; Chol: 0mg; Iron: 2.9mg; Sodium: 682mg; Calc: 55mg.

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