I have a regular rotation of about five meals I make when I'm short on time, and this Caprese Orzo Salad is one of my favorites. It’s a caprese-meets-pasta salad and it’s loaded with an addictive balsamic vinaigrette and lots of fresh mozzarella. Sounds just about perfect, right? It’s ideal for weeknight meals, makes excellent leftovers for lunch the next day, and takes fewer than 20 minutes to make. Throw some grilled shrimp or salmon on top if you want some protein and away you go!
xoxo - Gaby
Caprese Orzo Salad
Serves 2 as a main and 4 as a side dish
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Caprese Orzo Salad:
6 ounces orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes
10 ounces small mozzarella balls
Fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and pepper
Cook the orzo according to package directions. While the orzo cooks, combine all the ingredients for the balsamic vinaigrette in a small bowl or cup and whisk until combined, then set aside. Drain the orzo and let it cool slightly, then transfer into a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil so the orzo doesn't stick together.
Wash and halve the tomatoes, then add them to the cooked orzo. Add the fresh mozzarella and add them to the bowl. Tear the basil leaves and add them to the bowl as well. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.