this delicious and unique side dish is good cold or at room temperature. it's perfect for potluck parties or dinner at home.
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into small pieces*
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
2 scallions, finely chopped including some of the green parts
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
fresh ground black pepper to taste
*tomatoes can be replaced by a red bell pepper (especially in winter months when good tomatoes are scarce)
1. combine water, barley and salt in a sauce pan. cover and bring to a boil over high heat. turn heat down to medium-low and simmer about 40 minutes until tender.
2. meanwhile prepare the remaining ingredients. whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano together in a bowl.
3. transfer cooked barley into a large bowl and cool by stirring or refrigerating. pour lemon mixture over the cooled barley and toss to coat. add the tomatoes, olives, red onion, scallions, parsley and feta and toss again to combine. season with pepper and serve.
keep covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. toss again before serving.