4green onionsthinly sliced (green and light green parts)
4oz.feta cheesecrumbled or cubed
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil (2 tablespoons), maple syrup (2 tablespoons), apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon), ground cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), ground cumin (1/2 teaspoon), kosher salt (1 teaspoon), and black pepper (1/4 teaspoon).
Add the raisins (1/3 cup) to the bowl and toss to coat. If you have time, let them sit for 5-10 minutes (I like to prep my other ingredients while I wait).
Add the cooked barley (3-3.5 cups) to the bowl and toss to coat well. Add the parsley or cilantro (1/4 cup), sliced almonds (1/2 cup), 4 sliced green onions, cubed or crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.), and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds. Toss gently. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve drizzled with more extra-virgin olive oil and chopped parsley or cilantro if desired.
Ingredient substitutions: Pomegranate molasses or 1.5 tablespoons of honey can be substituted for maple syrup; regular raisins can be substituted for golden; lemon juice or red wine vinegar may be substituted for apple cider vinegar; other nuts such as pine nuts, chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios can be substituted for the almonds, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version.
For a gluten-free recipe, substitute the cooked barley with cooked rice or quinoa.
For a vegan recipe, omit the feta or use a vegan substitute.