I prepared this salad for a recent gathering with friends on a weekend we spent cutting wood and socializing! This was one of many dishes we shared and it was made with seasonally sweet grape tomatoes and fresh basil.
To change things up, I thought I would use Orzo, which is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. It can be served alone, as a soup accompaniment, as part of a salad, or baked in a casserole. Orzo is the Italian word for “barley” however, it’s not made from barley at all, but rather from semolina, a course-ground flour made from durum wheat. In Italy, the word can of course refer to the grain itself, but might also describe a beverage made from roasted barley or a wheat-based pasta that looks like barley. Because of orzo’s similar shape and mild flavor, it can be substituted for rice in many recipes. Ounce for ounce, rice and orzo contain similar amounts of fat, sugar, carbohydrates and even sodium.
This is a simple, but delicious salad that tasted great even on the second day, because the flavors had really blended well.
1 Lemon, rind and juice
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 Large Onion, (sweet) minced
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Package of Orzo
4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped
4 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
4 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, chopped
1 Package Mozzarella Balls
Mince the onion, and combine with lemon juice and rind, pressed garlic, chopped herbs, mustard, oil, mayo, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper. (season to taste)
Prepare the Orzo according to package directions, keeping in mind that it cooks up in about half the time of rice. Cool and combine with the above. Add chopped tomatoes
Toss gently and mix in mozzarella balls.
Coat everything evenly and allow to stand refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving.
The guys did!