3/4 cup raw shelled pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 Tbs. drained capers
24 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)
Lettuce leaves for serving
In large saucepan, combine barley and cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and let stand at least 6 hours or overnight.
Drain barley. In same saucepan, bring 2 quarts fresh water to a boil. Add barley and salt and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Set aside.
While barley is cooking, in shallow bowl, combine tomatoes and warm water to cover. In another shallow bowl, combine apricots and warm water to cover. Let tomatoes and apricots soak 30 minutes. Drain and chop coarsely.
In large bowl, combine barley, tomatoes, apricots, fennel, pistachios if using, basil, capers and olives. Add 1/2 cup Lemon Dressing and toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature before serving; spoon onto lettuce leaves. Serve remaining dressing on the side.