Here in sunny Singapore barley is almost always made into a drink with rock sugar, because according to traditional chinese medicine barley has a mild "yin" qi that can help to reduce your body's heat. Usually after cooking, the liquid is strained and the barley is thrown away, but I've always loved their rich chewy texture.
In this recipe the lime (you can use lemon, whatever is available) lends a light and fresh note which is perfect for summer, either as a main dish or as a side. For a slightly salty profile I went ahead and added a tablespoon of hummus (I used Chris Brand Fresh and light which is lower in sodium, but you can use any brand). Pearl barley has a natural nutty flavour that can be easily masked by heavy flavours, so be sure to taste before adding salt.
I used tomatoes and olives in this recipe but you can go ahead and substitute these with boiled carrots, mushrooms, peppers or whatever you have lying around in the fridge. —Meranda