Summer Risoni Salad is one of those dishes that I always make when I am alone at home – during summer, of course. 🙂 It’s filling (but still light), easy and so quick to prepare. I get pasta, mozzarella, and a healthy dose of vegetables – all in one plate.
Before I continue, let’s agree on one thing. There is no difference between risoni and orzo. Risoni is for Italians and orzo is for Greeks; but they both refer to that kind of pasta that looks like rice.
Now that we’ve got that cleared-up, I love having my risoni with salads and soups. It’s a good change from the usual shape of pasta, but you still get the same kind of bite to it, if you cook them right.
For summer risoni salad, you can either use lemon juice or white wine vinegar for its dressing. I prefer to use lemon juice, when I have them around. It just feels fresher, perfect for the summer.
You can replace the green olives with kalamata, if you prefer those, and yellow pepper with red. If you notice, I chose the pepper and olives with less intense flavor. I dunno why, but I feel that is what gives summer risoni salad that ‘light’ feeling. But, do not let this stop you from experimenting with what works for you though! 😀
- 1/2 cup risoni
- 1/2 cup green olives, pits removed and quartered
- 1/2 cup mozzarella, diced
- 1 cup tomato, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 cup yellow pepper, diced
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 15 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped (more for garnish, optional)
- salt and pepper to season
Cook risoni as per package instructions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix cooled risoni, green olives, mozzarella, tomato, yellw pepper, cucumber, capers, extra-virgin olive oil, basil and juice of ½ lemon.
Mix to combine thoroughly.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve and garnish more with chopped fresh basil, if desired.