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?