Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint

The summer has been sucking all of my energy I tell you.  The sad part is that I really don't have any good excuses.  I returned from a nice vacation just a couple of weeks ago (albeit not one of those lie-on-a-beach trips) and have even had more days off of work than normal since two of my families are out of town.  Even the weather has been, well, perfect. Poooooor me, right?  I know, I have some nerve.

Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint

It's not that I'm not being productive...just not as productive as I think I should be given the extra time off I have.  Example:  I didn't shower until after NOON the past 2 days.  All of the sudden it's 6:00 PM, I've done squat, and dinner is around the corner.

Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint
Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint

One week.  I'm giving myself one lazy week to watch every hour of the Today Show, move like a slug, and stay dirty until 1:00 PM.

Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint
Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint

This dish is the perfect lazy week food solution.  You make a big batch ahead of time, and since it's a cold pasta salad, it can just chill in your fridge while I you perch on my your loveseat.

I've been eating this for the past 3 days and I'm ok with that.

Orzo w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini & Mint

INGREDIENTS: (makes 4 cups)

• 1 cup orzo
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 small shallot, small dice (about 1/3 cup)
• 3 small cloves garlic, minced
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus additional to cook orzo)
• 8 scallions, thinly sliced (whites only)
• 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
• 1 cup bocconcini (about 15), sliced in halftip1
• 10 large mint leaves, torn into very small pieces (about 1 tbsp.)tip2
• cracked black pepper, to taste

-In a large pot, boil orzo in generously salted water until tender to the bite; strain, and place in a large mixing bowl; mix in 1 tbsp. of olive oil.tip3
-In the same pot used for the orzo set over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil, shallots, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sweat until translucent, about 1 minute.
-Remove from heat and use a rubber spatula to scrape entire contents of the pot into the orzo.
-Mix in the scallions, white balsamic vinegar, cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, mint, remaining salt and cracked black pepper.
-Adjust seasoning to taste.
-Can be made ahead of time; best served chilled.

My tips:

1. Bocconcini (aka ciliegine) are mini mozzarella balls and can be found at most grocery stores.
2. I used mint in this recipe but really any soft herb can be substituted. Try with basil, parsley, dill, etc.!
3. Cooking time for orzo varies by brand. Orzo is done when bitten into, there’s a very tiny white fleck in the center. The pasta will continue to cook after it is strained. Adding the olive oil will prevent the pasta from sticking together.

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