Caprese Orzo Salad

Serves: 6 to 8

2 cups dry orzo pasta
2 balls fresh mozzarella cheese, diced into ½-inch cubes
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half or quartered
6 to 8 leaves fresh basil, washed and cut chiffonade-style
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the orzo pasta according to the direction on the package until al dente. Rinse immediately with cold water to stop the cooking process and refrigerate for at least one hour before mixing with other ingredients.

Just before serving, toss with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil until well mixed. Add more oil if needed to lightly coat all ingredients. Season well with kosher salt and pepper, starting with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Taste and add more seasoning as desired. Serve immediately.

Tony’s Tips:

  • To chiffonade the basil, roll several leaves up together and cut into ¼-inch strips.
  • Get the bulk of the work done earlier in the day, store in the fridge and toss just before serving.
  • Kalamata Olives would be a great addition to this salad.
  • Fresh mozzarella has a limited life, but leftovers can be reliably refrigerated for up to a day or two.

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