1 cup hulled barley
4 cups water
2 slices center-cut bacon
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup lightly packed arugula
Place the barley in a medium glass bowl and add water to cover by 2 inches; cover and let stand at room temperature 8 hours or overnight.
Combine drained barley and 4 cups water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until done; remove pan from heat and transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Crumble bacon when crisp. Discard all but 2 teaspoons of bacon drippings.
Return skillet with reserved bacon drippings to heat. Add red onion and cook 2 minutes or until softened. Add reserved barley; cook 2 minutes or until barley is heated through, stirring frequently.
Add salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar; stir to combine. Stir in arugula and cook 1 minute or until wilted. Serve hot, garnished with crumbled bacon.
courtesy of: Kathryn Conrad, Chef/Test Kitchen Associate, Cooking Light Magazine