Pearl Barley & Avocado Salad Recipe

I have taken a shining to pearl barley.  Do you like to preplan your weekly cooking? I do, and with this winner of a nutritious grain, it may have even knocked risotto into second place. It's going to make a regular appearance on my weekly meal plan from here on in; lunch, dinner and yes, wait for it...even breakfast.

A friend of mine, who is an ex-sous chef recommended the brekkie option.  I simply thanked him for his pearl of wisdom but thought as preposterous as his advice was, I'd have to give it a try.  We all like to play around with food right? No matter what meal of the day it is.

I doubled up on the pearl barley volume again; not to include in this lunch but it was so I would have some in the fridge for tomorrow morning's energy boost.  I'll simply serve it with milk, cinnamon and nuts.  Watch this space...

Note: I did have the barley already prepared.  If you are cooking this from scratch it will need to be cooled in the fridge for the salad.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2

1 ripe avocado
125g pearl barley
500ml vegetable stock
1 tomato, diced
1tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 small red onion

For the dressing
1tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
large pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place the stock and pearl barley in a heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Once cooked, place in the fridge and allow to cool.

2. Cut the avocado in half, lengthways. Twist to separate the halves and remove the pit.  Dice the avocado flesh while still in the skin. Scoop out the bite-sized pieces of avocado and place in a salad bowl.

3. Mix together the avocado, barley, tomato, herbs and red onion.

4. Whisk the lime juice, oil, salt and pepper.

5. Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine. Serve immediately.