3 T. olive oil
2 T. vinegar
2 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 t. dark sesame oil
2 t. minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. barley (quick cooking or pearled)
1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
2 t. olive oil
6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced (about 2.5 cups)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch diced
1/2 c. chopped scallions (about 4 scallions)
To prepare dressing: whisk oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a glass measuring cup.
To prepare salad: cook barley according to package directions (10-12 minutes for quick cooking and 45 minutes for pearled).
Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Combine bell pepper, scallions, barley, asparagus and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss tocoat well.
Makes about (6) 1-cup servings.
Note: This salad keeps well for 2-3 days. It is an adaptation from a recipe published in Eating Well magazine in 2004. It is a very satisfying, nutritious, and high-fiber salad.