MEDITERRANEAN PECAN & BARLEY SALAD
*3rd Place Winner of the Pearson Farm Pecan Recipe Contest at the 2019 Georgia National Fair- Katie Thornton
2 cups pearled barley
5 cups water
2 cups Pearson Farm Elliot Pecan Halves
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 cups chopped fresh parsley eaves
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, sliced
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta
Seas salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine barley and water in metal liner of electric pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes, then quickly release pressure and drain barley. Rinse under cool running water until totally cooled and drain again.
While barley is cooking, heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 12-15 minutes. They will be highly aromatic. Cool, chop roughly, and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, parsley, cranberries, apricots, and feta. Stir well, then add the cooked and cooled barley. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the pecans. Toss thoroughly and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Toss again, just before serving. If desired, garnish top with a few extra pecans, parsley, and apricots.