Pesto Barley Salad

I know, I know, the suspense has been killing you. What did I make with those oven-dried tomatoes? I had a fair number of good guesses, but no one got it right on the head. My sweet little sister even suggested, “Whatever you’re making, I don’t want it. Tomatoes are icky.” Thanks for the support. ;)

We did enjoy these tomatoes on a margarita pizza two nights ago, but my real purpose for making them was to use them in lunches this week. If I’m really on top of things, I try to make a big salad during the weekend that I can bring for lunch all week long. This week it was pesto barley salad.

One of my new cooking goals is to branch out a bit with grains. As Gabe was helping me put away groceries this week, he stared at the pile of barley, farro, quinoa, and couscous amassing on the counter and said, “So apparently we live 3000 years ago.”

Not quite. But it’s definitely fun and challenging to introduce new old foods into our diet. And considering I’ve only ever had barley in soup (and beer, of course), this recipe was a great first step.

Pesto barley salad

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Pesto Barley Salad

Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in pesto. Slice mozzarella into bite-size pieces and add to bowl with barley. Stir in tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Adapted from Rachael Ray.

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