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Author Notes: I love this time of year when all the early spring fruits and veggies start to show up in the farmer's markets. This could easily be done as a risotto, but I tossed this together with a bunch of barley I'd cooked up earlier in the week. I frequently cook a bunch of whatever favorite grain of the week I'm working with and keep it in the fridge. Then I just add it to various things all through the week, making it oh-so-easy to bring whole grains into my diet. —TheWimpyVegetarian
- 3/4 cup shelled fresh peas
- 1 large artichoke
- 6-7 medium - large asparagus spears
- 2 cups vegetable broth, preferably homemade
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup barley grain
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pinch dried thyme
- 10 mint leaves
- 10 sorrel leaves
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
- lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, or enough to make a sauce-like consistency
- Trim the top and bottom off the artichoke. Slice into 8 pie-shaped pieces; hollow out the choke. Rub with lemon to keep it from turning brown.
- Bring the veggie broth, white wine and lemon juice to a boil. Add a sprig of thyme. Throw in the peas and artichoke slices. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the peas and artichokes are tender. Remove from the broth mixture and set aside.
- Put the barley grain into the broth mixture and add 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the barley is al dente (tender but a little chewy).
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the asparagus spears into 3/4" slices on the diagonal and toss in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of dried thyme. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tender. Set aside
- In a blender, combine the mint, sorrel, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and garlic cloves. Whirl like crazy while drizzling in the olive oil. Drizzle in enough to get a pour-able consistency.
- When the barley is done, toss it with the peas, artichokes, asparagus and mint-sorrel pesto. Serve warm.
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