I love… love…love home-grown tomatoes! I plant my own tomato starters in early March and wait for the heat of summer to turn those little red balls of tomato-y goodness into delicious, sugary treats. In fact, those cherry tomatoes rarely make it into the house. Vine-ripe and fresh picked, who can stop eating after just one or two or three?
But darn it, this summer I am tomato-less. Please feel sorry for me. No pretty veggie plants grace my backyard. My excuse? Hello! We moved! Remember, Mr. Handsome and I moved into a new house and I just didn’t have the energy beyond unpacking to make it happen. So this year, the farmers markets have been my go-to tomato supplier. Which is actually kinda cool because they have so many colors–yellow, purple, green, red and different heirloom tomato varieties. It’s a whole new world out there. Way more flavors than I ever imagined. You can say it. Guess I gotta get out more.
So today I came home with four baskets or cherry tomatoes. I came up with this Orzo recipe because I love to have two side dishes in one. We just paired it with some grilled chicken. A perfect summer dinner. Then we fought over the leftovers the next day. If you love Caprese flavors, then you’ll LOVE this Orzo Caprese Salad. Trust me.
- 1 ½ cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into bite–size pieces
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Bring water to a boil, add the salt and orzo pasta. Cook orzo according to manufacturer directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside to cool..
- Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley and mozzarella in a bowl. Add the cooled orzo pasta.
- Blend the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together. Pour over salad a toss to combine. Serve at room temperature with a basil leave as a garnish.