Mediterranean Barley Salad

I would like to share with you all a lovely salad that is perfect for warmer days. It's got everything: veggies, herbs, whole grains, flavor. As the weather gets hotter, your body needs less calories. Sometimes I forget this important fact and attempt to eat the same amount I'm used eating in the winter, and then I feel disgusting. This salad is a good balance of carbs and protein, and any leftovers will taste even better the next day after the flavors get more acquainted with each other. I got the recipe from the March 2010 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. Note: I'm using a new ingredients/directions format that I've noticed in some cookbooks, so don't be confused if the recipe looks a little different.

Mediterranean Barley Salad
Serves 4

For Barley:
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
-Bring water and barley to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Cool to room temperature.

For Dressing:
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-Whisk together in medium bowl.

For Salad:
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup diced red onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
8 pitted kalamata olives, quartered
15 oz. (1 can) cannellini beans (I used a handful of dry beans, soaked them overnight, rinsed, brought them to a boil in a few cups of water, then simmered them for 45 minutes)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
-Add all but walnuts to dressing in bowl, add barley, and mix together. Garnish with walnuts. Serve chilled or at room temperature.