I have made this a bunch of times now...but I sub chopped, sauteed portabello mushrooms for the asparagus. It's delish! It's a great, healthy side dish that can be varied in so many ways.
Barley-Asparagus "Risotto" with Balsamic Vinegar
(Source: weight watchers message board)
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion(s), minced
1 cup uncooked barley, use quick-cooking pearl variety
3 cup fat-free chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chives, fresh, sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in barley and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Add broth, cover and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes; stir in asparagus and simmer 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in chives and vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.