Tomato Basil Orzo Salad

by Melissa on August 31, 2010

If you are looking for a great pasta salad for this upcoming Labor Day weekend, I have a winner for you! This recipe is so easy to make, but results in a fresh and delicious side dish that compliments just about anything you could want to serve it with.

This pasta salad is also pretty versatile. I had some shredded mozzarella in my refrigerator, so I added that, but fresh mozzarella would be even better. Grilled zucchini or chicken would also make a wonderful addition. When you make this salad, be sure to taste as you go, let it sit for a bit and taste again before you serve. You may need to add a bit more balsamic, olive oil or salt and pepper.

Tomato Basil Orzo Salad

  • 1 1/2  cups  dried orzo pasta
  • 1 1/4  pounds  firm-ripe tomatoes, or a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes,  at room temperature
  • 3/4  cup  chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1  or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or 8oz fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until barely tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse and core tomatoes; chop (if using cherry tomatoes, slice in half) and place in a large bowl. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar; mix gently.

Drain pasta well and add to tomato mixture. Mix, adding parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Sunset Magazine, as seen on Proceed with Caution.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dana - Food for Thought September 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

Sounds like a great dish to bring to a weekend BBQ! I am a big fan of non-mayo pasta salads. Yum!

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