I threw this together and served it next to tilapia fillets. I'm a big fan of barley, so I enjoyed the variety of chewy and crunchy textures mixed with simple spices. I think this would also make a nice lunch with a loaf of crusty bread and would probably taste even better as a picnic food in the sun!
1 cup pearl barley
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. chicken bouillon flavoring (optional)
1 Tbsp canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips (use red, orange, or yellow for additional color)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium pan, combine barley, water, and chicken flavoring. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes until barley has absorbed all the water. The barley should be tender. Set aside.
Heat oil in frying pan. Add garlic and broccoli and cook over medium heat until broccoli is tender-crisp. Add pepper and onion. Toss until everything is combined then remove pan from heat.
In a large bowl, combine barley and broccoli mixture. Stir to combine. Add feta and lightly toss. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, and add cumin with a final stir to mix everything gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil if it seems too dry. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.