Can you believe it’s finally summer? This is Susan here. Sharing my favorite summer salad with my friends at the Jar Store. This Caprese Orzo Salad is just so fresh tasting and satisfying. In my world, there is nothing better than fresh tomatoes and basil. Add some fresh mozzarella pearls and a little dressing, and I guess that’s just about perfect! A larger portion is just right for lunch. Or, if you are grilling out, just portion it in smaller mason jars for an easy ready to go proportioned side.
A few years ago, I started making my own salad dressings. I’ve never looked back. They take about 2 minutes to make and the ingredients are nothing complicated. That’s what adds to the fresh flavor of most salads, especially this one!
This Caprese orzo salad can be made ahead. Just make sure you add the basil chiffonade at the last minute. Basil doesn’t tend to keep well once it’s cut. Also, retain a little of the dressing and drizzle it on right before serving. The pasta does tend to absorb some of the dressing.
Ingredients – Salad
- 1 cup dry orzo
- 8 oz drained mozzarella pearls (small balls of fresh mozzarella)
- 1 Pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- Fresh basil, cut in chiffonade (roll the leaves then slice thinly)
Ingredients – Balsamic Dressing
- **Use a mason jar to measure, mix and store dressing in**
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 large clove finely minced garlic
- Cook orzo pasta according to directions. Make sure you do not overcook it! Drain, stir in about 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil so the orzo doesn’t stick together. As it’s cooling, you will have to stir it a few times.
- Mix all balsamic dressing ingredients together in a mason jar. Notice that the mason jar has the measurement markings on it. No need to dirty any measuring cups! Shake well prior to serving.
- Mix tomato halves, mozzarella pearls and basil into orzo. Add about 3/4 of the dressing, reserving the balance to add just prior to serving. The pasta does absorb the dressing so it’s nice to drizzle some on just prior to serving.
This Caprese Orzo Salad is a beautiful looking and a very fresh tasting summer salad. You won’t be disappointed!
What is your favorite salad in a jar?