I have a fantastic fresh salad for you today! It is getting to be the time of year where I much prefer to eat cold foods over hot. Unless those hot foods are coming from the grill. But that is a different story.
I found these gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes at Trader Joes this week. Aren’t they beautiful?
And I bought a ginormous tub of marinated mozzarella balls at Costco. Who buys a 40 oz tub of bocconcini? A hungry person who is shopping at Costco, that’s who. Word to the wise, eat lunch before wandering those aisles!
Also, can we talk about this balsamic vinegar?
It isn’t white, or clear, but a kind of pinky-brown color. But I hate the way normal balsamic looks when it is drizzled on mozzarella. It tastes great, but makes it look dirty. If you can find white balsamic, definitely use it!
And barley. Oh, barley. It is really under-used. I had this package left in my pantry from a beef and barley soup I made this winter. And it probably would have sat there until next winter if it wasn’t for this salad. If barley isn’t your thing, you can use rice, or quinoa, or any other grain of your choosing. It soaks up the wonderful dressing and gets really tangy and flavorful.
Fresh, simple and delicious.
Caprese Barley Salad
makes 4 servings as a main dish or 8 as a side dish
- 2 cups uncooked barley (4 cups already cooked barley)
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- 12 oz bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp basil, cut in ribbons
- Cook barley according to package directions.
- Let barley cool completely. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half (or in quarters for very large tomatoes) and add them to the barley.
- Cut bocconcini balls in half and add them to the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar mustard and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the other ingredients. Add basil and toss salad until it is coated with the dressing.
- Chill for several hours to allow flavors to come together.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…How can you go wrong with tomatoes and mozzarella?
How many colors can you fit into one bowl?
This salad is bursting with flavor. the comibnation of juicy berries, sweet madarin orange segments and creamy goat cheese is out-of-this-world delicious!
Let me introduce you to my favorite dressing. I know some people can’t stand bottled dressings, but this Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing is by far the tastiest one out there,
corn syrup, chemicals and all ( I just looked up the nutional info and ingredients, and there isn’t any corn syrup! And I can pronounce most of the ingredients! Win! I still might try to make my own version some day…) I have attempted making my own version, but haven’t come anywhere close.
And just like sandwiches, I hesitate to call this a “recipe.” There isn’t even any method or technique. Just slice up your fruit and put it on top of a bed of greens. But the flavor combination was spot on, and I havea feeling I’m going to be eating this salad A LOT through the Spring and Summer months.
I just had to share this beauty. I could look at these pictures all day.
Spring Time Fruity Salad
- 2 cups mixed greens
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup canned mandarin orange segments
- 4 large strawberries, sliced
- 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- Dressing of your choice (I choose Ken’s Light Sweet Vidalia Onion, but other good options would be a poppyseed dressing, or a fruity balsamic vinegarette. I think staying on the sweet side would be best for this salad)
Toss all ingredients together, and enjoy!
I normally try to limit the amount of meat that I eat, and now that it is the Lenten season, meat is off limits for me on Fridays. I made this dish for my lunch on Ash Wednesday (another meatless day). It makes for a really nice light meal, or can be served with tortilla chips as an appetizer.
This is a “no recipe” recipe, and I’ll bet that you have most of the ingredients in your pantry. I love quick and easy meals or snacks that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. Whether you are running late and need a quick meal, or have unexpected company, this salsa (or salad) is a quick, tasty and sure to please.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or Salad)
Makes 20 servings as a salsa, or 3 as a salad
- 1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies), undrained
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried cilantro (or 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped)
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer, or in a bowl alone or over chopped romaine lettuce as a salad. I think this would also be amazing with some grilled shrimp!