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CAPRESE ORZO SALAD

Bite Me
by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat

We can read. our Dad like a book. A bright smile says he won his tennis game. Crossed arms tell us he's starving. Thumb and index finger spread an inch apart, we know he's quizzing the waiter about the firmness of the Caprese salad's tomatoes. We get it - the Italian classic isn't salvageable with mealy, tasteless tomatoes - and that's why this orzo pasta salad hits all the high notes by using year-round juicy and flavorful cherry tomatoes, melt-in-your-mouth bocconcini and slivers of chopped sweet basil. One bite and our Dad started tapping his toe - that's his food-lovers' happy-dance.
Serves 6


INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 cups pearl (bite-sized balls) bocconcini cheese
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1 small garlic clove, minced
    • 1½ tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1½ Cups orzo
    • 2 tbsp olive oil


DIRECTIONS

1) In a medium bowl, gently stir together tomatoes, bocconcini, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, allowing flavors to blend.

2) For the orzo in a medium pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Drain well and place in a large bowl, allowing to cool for 20 minutes.

3) Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and tomato mixture to orzo, tossing to coat.
 

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