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Toasted Barley Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Corn and Grilled Portabellos

1/2 cup pearl barley
1 1/2 cups canned vegetable broth
1 large poblano chili or green bell pepper
1 small red bell pepper
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Nonstick olive oil spray
4 large portabello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped away
24 large spinach leaves

Place barley in heavy large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until
pale golden, shaking pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth
to pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and
simmer until barley is tender and broth is absorbed, about 35
minutes. Uncover and let barley cool. Char poblano and red bell
pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.
Enclose in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and dice
poblano and red bell pepper. Place barley, poblano and red bell
pepper in large bowl. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; toss to
blend. Season salad with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day
ahead. Cover; refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Spray mushrooms with nonstick
spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through,
about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; slice thinly.
Arrange 6 spinach leaves on each of 4 plates. Top with barley salad.
Arrange 1 sliced mushroom alongside each salad. Serve while mushrooms
are still warm.

Yield: 4


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