Photo of Barley, grape tomato and arugula saute by WW

Barley, grape tomato and arugula saute

Total Time
50 min
10 min
40 min
This colorful grain and vegetable side dish is sweet with a peppery bite. Throw in some yellow grape tomatoes for even more color. As the tomatoes sauté, they begin to burst and pop and their juices mingle and flavor the cooked pearl barley. Lemon zest stirred in just before serving punches things up to really amplify and brighten the garden-fresh flavors here. This recipe tastes great reheated the next day. Or serve it as a salad—just let it come to room temperature and then toss it with just a bit of red wine or balsamic vinegar to serve.



1¼ cup(s)

Table salt

¾ tsp, divided

Uncooked pearl barley

½ cup(s)

Olive oil

1½ tsp, extra-virgin, divided

Grape tomatoes

1½ cup(s), halved

Jarred minced garlic

1½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground


3 cup(s), baby leaves

Lemon zest

¼ tsp, finely grated (or to taste)


  1. Bring water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Add barley; cover, reduce heat to low and cook until water is absorbed and barley is tender but still has a nice bite to it, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; sauté until tomatoes start to soften and release their juices, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add barley, remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until tomatoes soften further and barley absorbs tomato liquid, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in arugula; toss over medium heat until wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/2 tsp oil and lemon zest.
  5. Serving size: 3/4 c