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Barley with Asparagus and Shiitakes

  Makes 4 servings
  Prep Time: 35 minutes
  Total Time: 35 minutes
  Ease of Preparation: Easy

 12 ounces asparagus
 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 1 bunch scallions, chopped (3/4 cup)
 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
 1 cup quick-cooking barley
 1/2 cup dry white wine
 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Snap off ends of asparagus stalks and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Steam until just tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

2. Simmer broth in a saucepan; keep warm. Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add scallions and shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add barley and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 1 minute.

3. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking, adding enough broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and stirring frequently, until the barley is just tender and the mixture has a slightly saucy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and the reserved asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutritional Notes: per serving: 275 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 12 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 6 g fiber; 392 mg sodium; 368 mg potassium.