by Stacey on August 23rd, 2013
filed under Salad
Hello long lost friends! I am so sorry for falling off the face of the planet. Way to start blogging and immediately fall off the wagon. Ugh. Life has been…difficult of late. Now, don’t get me wrong–I’ve had some great times (trip to French Polynesia, anyone??), but I’ve also been stressed…and busy…and sick. But, I did not come here to complain, but rather to share a little something with you!
Life is tough, ain’t it??
I’m part of a cooking board and these ladies have become true friends! For several years, many of them have participated in recipe swaps hosted by Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking
and I’ve always been a touch envious. I promised myself I would start participating once I started blogging…and you know how that went. This month’s theme was too yummy for me to pass up though. Plus, I thought that perhaps participating would give me a kick in the rear to get back with it! Just because I’ve been crazy does not mean I haven’t been cooking.
This month’s theme is Summer Salads, which I just happen to love! For my entry, I submitted my Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad that may just be the best summer food on Earth. I promise I will post it here at some point. I received Cookaholic Wife’s Caprese Pasta Salad. Nichole made this salad, despite protests from her husband. Luckily, my man loves summer salads (as long as they are sides!) just as much as I do.
I’ve made one other Caprese Pasta Salad but I wasn’t completely sold on it. I felt like flavor was lacking. I also learned that if you add the mozzarella when the pasta is hot–it will melt! Nichole’s version immediately appealed to me as it has balsamic vinegar, which is perhaps my favorite condiment. True to expectations, Nichole’s version was fantastic! I highly recommend this for your Labor Day cookout! Take advantage of summer’s glorious tomatoes and basil.
Caprese Pasta Salad
Serving size: 6
8 oz. rotini (whole wheat is great if you have it!)
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
5 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. oregano
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously salt. Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with olive oil.
Toss the tomatoes and garlic together on the baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic, olive oil and oregano.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to a bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until chilled.
Add the mozzarella and basil, gently mix, and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
This is a perfect representation of summer in a salad bowl! Check out the rest of this month’s recipes made by other participants. Thanks for hosting, Sarah!
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