Caputo’s Barley, Mushroom & Asparagus Salad with Fresh Mint

1 cup hulled or pearl barely
6 oz. asparagus, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3 oz. fresh morel mushrooms, or 1 ounce dried morels soaked for 30 minutes in warm water and sliced, you may substitute your favorite mushroom.
Juice of 2 fresh lemons
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 T fresh mint, minced

Cook the barley in a pot of boiling salted water for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Add the asparagus and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until bright green and crisp-tender. Drain the barley and asparagus in a colander.

Meanwhile heat ½ of olive oil in a small skillet over moderate heat. Cook the shallots for about 2 minutes, add the sliced morels and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms give off their liquid and it has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the parsley and season with salt and pepper, mix well. Combine with the barley and asparagus and allow to cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve, whisk together the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Stir the dressing into the barley mixture, add the mint, mix well and serve immediately

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