Are you ready for summer yet? It was in the mid-high 60's all week here--blue skies, warm breezes, pure happiness. Today, walking the 1 1/2 miles to work was suddenly a lot less pleasant. It was 31 degrees, overcast, and extremely windy. It felt even worse on the way home. It is officially Spring now, Mother Nature! Get with the freakin' program!
I picked out this recipe over the weekend, when it was lovely and springy outside. Of course, tonight would've been good for a hot recipe, but what can you do? This was still marvelous....a speedy little ditty for a hungry weeknight. It's best saved for summer, though--as an entree on your back porch, a small side to a grilled steak, or your contribution to a company picnic. It is a solid winner all around.
Mediterranean Barley Salad with Chickpeas and Arugula (from Cooking Light)
-1 cup uncooked pearl barley
-1 cup packed arugula leaves (**Or more! 1 cup is not very much.**)
-1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
-3 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
-1 (15 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-Optional: 2 ounces of diced black olives
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (**If you use oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, you can cut down to 1 tablespoon or less of olive oil**)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (**I might substitute a little crumbled feta in the future.**)
1. Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt. Combine barley, arugula, bell pepper, tomatoes, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
2. Combine lemon juice, oil, salt, and crushed red pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over barley mixture, and toss. Sprinkle with pistachios.
-Calories: 360, Fat: 10.1g, Carbs: 59.9g, Protein: 10.1g