A few years ago at one of our book club pool parties, someone brought an awesome caprese barley salad. We all devoured the entire bowl if I remember correctly. It was so delicious and light yet filling, so I looked up the recipe later to try and recreate it. I swore I pinned it but it seems like I didn’t, so tonight I winged it to see if I could get it to be just as good as it was then. And this time, I’m pinning it plus it’ll be here too. I thought about this salad today because we had another summertime pool book club meeting, but no barley salad this go round.

With tomatoes and basil right in the peak of freshness now, it’s also an excellent time for me to trim back these basil bushes. I just made pesto the last week and I’ve still got this much left!

basil plants

Caprese Pearl Barley Salad


  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock or water
  • Mozzarella pearls (I love these BelGioioso ¬†fresh mozz pearls)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil, cut in ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or extra virgin if you prefer)
  • 3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the stock/water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, slice the tomatoes, cut the basil, and separate the mozzarella pearls. pearl mozzarella
  3. Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk til emulsified… or put it in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to combine.
  4. When the barley is done cooking, drain out any excess liquid.
  5. Add the dressing and the tomatoes.
  6. Once the barley has cooled a bit, add the basil and mozzarella pearls.
  7. It can be served hot or cold. Season to taste.

grape tomatoes