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Barley Salad with Green Garlic And Sugar Snap Peas

1 cup hulled barley

3 cups water

2 stalks green garlic (white and light green parts only), cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons toasted almonds

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Coarse kosher salt

8 ounces sugar snap peas

2 tablespoons torn mint leaves

Cook and cool barley: Combine barley and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely. Make green garlic sauce: Blend green garlic, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. If the mixture is very thick or dry, mix in 1-2 tablespoons of water. Blanch sugar snap peas: Have ready a large bowl of ice water, a slotted spoon, and a plate lined with a cloth or paper towel. Bring a pan of water to boil over high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt and the snap peas and boil just until bright green and crisp, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Quickly remove the snap peas with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice bath. When the peas are completely cool, remove them from the ice bath and drain on the towel-lined plate. Cut the snap peas lengthwise on the diagonal. Assemble salad: In a large bowl, combine barley and green garlic sauce. Then mix in snap peas and mint. Season to taste and serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator

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