This is based on a recipe originally published in the now defunct magazine Vegetarian Times...just a few tweaks. It's SUPER EASY and perfect for a summer weeknight.
1 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 t. salt, divided
1 c. pearled barley
2 cups shredded or finely diced carrots (I use the bagged, pre-shredded carrots to save time.)
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 c. raw pepitas or pistachios
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 scallions, chopped (green and white parts - optional)
6 c. baby arugula
Your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 2 1/4 c. water, 1/4 t. salt, and 1 t. olive oil to a boil. Stir in barley, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the barley is chewy but not mushy (between 20 and 30 minutes...check for desired consistency).
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 t. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cumin and stir to coat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender-crisp. Add pepitas or pistachios, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in a scant 1/4 t. salt. Remove from heat. Stir in chickpeas and cooked barley, then allow to come to nearly room temperature. Stir in the scallions.
Divide the arugula between 4 plates, and dress each plate's serving with a teaspoon or so of your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing. Add the barley mixture (either mixed with the arugula or served on the side) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.