Preparation time: 11 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 4 Servings
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking pearl barley
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeÃ±o peppers, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain barley in a colander, and rinse with cold water until completely cooled.
Combine black beans, next 6 ingredients, and, if desired, cilantro and red pepper in a medium bowl. Add barley to black bean mixture; toss gently.