2 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into ibte-size pieces
3/4 c. pearl barley, rinsed
2-1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 lemons, zest peeled into large strips and juice reserved
1 bay leaf
10 oz sliced mushrooms
1/3 c. lemon juice (in addition to the reserved juice)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, chopped
Put the asparagus in a microwave safe dish with 1 tbl water, cover and microwave for 3-4 min. or until desired degree of doneness. Drain and set aside.
Spray a saucepan with cooking spray. Put 1/4 tsp salt, lemon zest, bay leaf and the drained barley in the pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 min. or until tender. Drain the barley, removing the bay leaf and lemon zest. Set aside.
Combine the reserved lemon juice, 1/3 c. lemon juice, mustard, 2 tsp salt, pepper and thyme in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the cooked barley, mushrooms, parsley and scallions and mix well. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hr to blend flavors.