Pearl Barley & Lentil Salad

Pearl Barley and Lentil Salad
A variation of the grain salad for work lunch theme: borrowing ingredients from pearl barley tabbouleh and Cypriot grain salad. Dice a small red onion and steep in the juice of a lemon in the bottom of a large serving bowl while you toast a cup of pearl barley in a little oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once the barley is lightly browned and smelling toasty, cover with 3 cups hot water from a recently boiled kettle. When water starts to boil, add half a cup of small green lentils. Return to the boil and simmer until al dente (about 20 minutes but test after 18). Drain and cool grains, while you rinse and drain 2 tablespoons of capers and add to the onion along with half a cup  of currants. Heat two tablespoons each of pinenuts, slivered almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds in half a cup of olive oil over low heat, stirring constantly until nuts and seeds are lightly browned. Stir in 2 teaspoons cumin seeds and cook for a minute longer. Add drained grains to the salad bowl, along with the oil, and toasted nuts and seeds. Lastly, dice a green capsicum and a small red chili and add to the mixture. Toss and serve.

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