Sunday, July 24, 2011

Caprese Pasta Salad

I love a nice Caprese Salad. Slices of tomato, slices of mozzarella, chiffonaded basil and a nice light balsamic vinaigrette or even just a sprinking of good olive oil. So I was looking for a more summery version, something a little lighter and a bit different.

So I tried to turn a Caprese into a pasta salad and it worked well. I used Rotini pasta because I like the surface area for holding the vinaigrette.

  • 1 lbs of cooked rotini (curly pasta)
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 oz mozzarella
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • While the rotini is cooking, seed the tomatoes and rough chop them
  • Dice the mozzarella into small pieces
  • Chiffonade the basil (Roll up the leaves as a group and thinly slice into ribbons)
  • Zest the lemon into a mixing bowl, then squeeze the juice into the bowl.
  • While whisking, slowly add about 1/2 - 2/3 a cup of olive oil into the lemon juice/zest to make your dressing. It's a nice light lemon vinaigrette, and not too much so it's never overdressed.
  • Drain and cool the pasta. It doesn't have to be cold, just not boiling hot. I don't like to melt the cheese.
  • Poor the pasta right over the tomatoes, add the cheese and basil, then stir together while adding about 1/2 of the dressing.
  • Key step here . . . TASTE it. You might need a little salt, you might need to add more dressing. only you can make that determination, so don't be afraid! One piece of advice, if you are going to keep it overnight, save any dressing you don't add right away.
  • You can serve immediately, which is how I prefer it. It can keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
If you are going to keep it overnight, I suggest draining any liquid the next day. The tomatoes may lose a lot of liquid. Then taste and add some more dressing if needed.


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