1 medium Granny Smith apple, or substitute your favorite variety (peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1/4 cup carrots (julienned)
Pearl barley has the bran and the hull layer removed making it quicker to cook than whole barley. It softens on cooking but retains a wonderful chewy consistency. If you prefer it less al dente, simply cook 5 minutes longer, adding a splash more broth if needed. You can also substitute with einkorn wheat or farro.
Prepare the barley
Place a large saucepan on the stove over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the pearl barley and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted (the grains will turn slightly opaque just before browning), about 3 minutes.
Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Transfer pearl barley to a medium bowl and fluff the grains with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Make the vinaigrette
In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, shallot and vinegar. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the vinegar mixture. Add parsley, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Assemble and serve
Lightly coat the barley with the vinaigrette, using a silicone spatula to mix it thoroughly. Stir in the apples, pomegranates, carrots and pine nuts. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.