1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (1½ cups)
1 cup pearl barley (barley with hull and bran removed)
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
2½ cups low-sodium or no-salt-added chicken broth or vegetable broth
½ cup coarsely chopped raw cashews
Freshly squeezed juice from ½ lemon (1 tablespoon)
⅓ cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 8-11 minutes, until lightly browned and translucent. Stir in the barley; cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Add the lemon-pepper seasoning; cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil, stirring a few times.
Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook the barley for about 40 minutes, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, toast the cashew pieces in a small, dry skillet for 3 or 4 minutes, until lightly browned, shaking the skillet occasionally. Remove from the heat.
Add the lemon juice and raisins to the barley. Remove the skillet from the heat; let the mixture stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the cashews and parsley; toss gently.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the diced red bell pepper; serve warm.
Cook's note: This dish takes very little time to put together and can be eaten hot, at room temperature or cold.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving (using no-salt-added broth): 290 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 46 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 8 g protein, 15 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium.
Nutritionist and food writer Robyn Webb