Chickpea Salad with Parsley, Lemon, Tomatoes and Barley

When I look for a recipe that “feeds my soul”, I always think of this salad. Even approved by my neighbors, it's hearty and filling and full of fresh flavors!

Ingredients:
– 2 cups dried barley, cooked*
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
– 2 15 1/2-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
– 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
– 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
– 1/3 cup thinly sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
– 1 cup fresh Sun Gold tomatoes, washed and halved
– ¼ -1/2 cup fresh basil, washed and chopped

*Other grains like farro or bulgur and others would work just as well.  I was looking for a chewy, “soul satisfying” texture.

Directions: 

Rinse barley. For easier digestion, you can soak your grains.  The method is to leave grains covered with non-chlorinated water, plus an acidic medium, for about 7-8 hours (a longer time is okay too).  The amount of acidic medium is 1 tablespoon for every 1 cup of grains.  Your best choices for an acidic medium are lemon juice or vinegar.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper (about ¼ teaspoon each. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

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