For the barley: Rinse the barley in cold water, then drain well. Place the grains in a medium saucepan and add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the grains are tender yet chewy, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes to steam. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
For the pesto: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and season it with sea salt. Fill a bowl with ice water. Cook the peas in the boiling water until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes for frozen peas, or up to 4 minutes, for fresh peas. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then drain again. Set aside 1 1/2 cups (325 ml) of the peas to sprinkle over the bowls later.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, mint, almonds, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Process to a coarse paste. Add the peas (not the ones you set aside) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Process to a coarse paste, scraping down the sides as needed. With the blade running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated. If you still find the pesto too thick (I like it to be slightly runny) add some water, a couple tablespoons at a time, until you reach the right consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. The pesto can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Assemble and serve: Peel the eggs and cut each egg in half.
Divide the grains into serving bowls (you’ll need about 1/2 cup/125 ml per adult—refrigerate any leftovers.) Add 1 to 2 spoonfuls of the pea pesto to each bowl and toss to coat the grains. Arrange the reserved peas, sugar snap peas, and eggs over the grains. Season with coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil. Dollop with a bit more of the pea pesto. Garnish with shaved cheese, toasted almonds, and a lemon wedge, and serve immediately.
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Omit the Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese garnish.
How to soft- or hard-boil eggsArrange the eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add 1 tsp (5 ml) salt (this will make peeling the eggs easier). Bring the water to a boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, immediately remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let sit for 4 to 6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs, or up to 12 minutes, for hard-boiled eggs.Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill just until the eggs are barely warm, about 2 minutes. Drain. You can either peel and serve the eggs right away, or refrigerate the eggs (with the shell on) in an airtight container for up to 3 days for soft-boiled eggs, or up to 1 week for hard-boiled eggs.
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