Bacony Barley Salad with Marinated Shrimp
Cooking the barley in the same saucepan as the bacon lends a pleasant smokiness to this whole-grain salad. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves or baby spinach.
3 strips bacon, chopped
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1 pound peeled cooked shrimp (21-25 per pound; thawed if frozen), tails removed, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion (about 1/2 small)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Cook bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel; discard fat. Return the pan to the heat and add water and salt; bring to a boil. Add barley and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.
Combine shrimp and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the cooked barley; toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the barley to absorb some of the lime juice. Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro and the bacon; toss to coat. Add oil and pepper and toss again. Stir in avocado and serve.