Picnic Ready Mozzarella Tomato Orzo Salad

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I’m always on the lookout for pasta salads that I can take to picnics. A few weeks ago, I went to an outdoor movie screening of A League of Their Own (maybe the best movie ever!) and I threw something like this together on a whim.

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Pasta salads are so ideal for outdoor picnics because you can always make them ahead, they travel well and are easy to eat on a blanket in the grass.

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This one is my all-time favorite right now because it’s tart, flavorful and the orzo doesn’t feel heavy. The mozzarella balls are fairly small (I found them at my local grocery store and they sell ‘em in a plastic container with water) and, let’s be honest, the best part of the salad. I feel like if I was left alone with that container, I could eat one mozzarella ball after the other, no problem!

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We’re gearing up for our last month of the summer. Let’s hope a picnic and some pie is in your near future!

OrzoPastaSalad

Mozzarella Tomato Orzo Salad

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This mozzarella tomato orzo salad is ideal for picnics since you can always make it ahead, it travels well and is easy to eat on a blanket in the grass. (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of Fresh Tastes)

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Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • Orzo Salad:
  • 1 pound orzo 
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced 
  • 1 pound small mozzarella balls 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and crushed red pepper to your liking. I added a bit more crushed red pepper. 
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo per the package’s instructions, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water immediately. Transfer to the fridge to chill, about 15 minutes. To a bowl or back to the pot, add the orzo. Top with the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, mozzarella balls and pour the dressing over it. Toss until evenly coated. Give it a taste and adjust the salt according to your liking. This is great for a party and is awesome for a make-ahead dish. Right before serving add a splash of olive oil (sometimes the pasta absorbs the dressing) and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 


Adrianna Adarme - PBS Food Fresh Tastes BloggerAdrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.