Sunday, May 1, 2016

Caprese Pasta Salad with Thai Basil Vinaigrette ~ Day 108

Summer is almost here and I am seeing lots of fresh herbs and greens at the farmers market.  Today, I got this amazing smelling, fresh bunch of Thai basil to make pesto.  While the washed leaves were still drying, I quickly made this lightly spiced vinaigrette for this refreshing salad.  It is a breeze to make this salad and can be made ahead and refrigerated.  

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Serves: 6

  • Any pasta like fusilli or penne - 1-16oz bag ( I used brown rice penne pasta)
  • Fresh mozzarella - 2 cups (more or less), cubed  
  • Cherry tomatoes - 2 cups, halved
  • Thai basil or sweet basil- 2 cups
  • Garlic - 1, clove
  • Jalapeno - 1 (optional)
  • Dried oregano - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp or to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper - to taste

  1. Cook pasta according to instruction on the package.  Drain and let cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, place the basil, garlic, jalapeno (if using), oregano, lemon juice, and 2 tbsp olive oil in a blender.  
  3. Blend until smooth.  Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, salt, and pepper.  Pulse two or three times.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the mozzarella, tomatoes, pasta, and the vinaigrette.  Toss to combine. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  
  5. Serve immediately or chill and serve.

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