Layered Caprese Pasta Salad



1/2 cup orzo pasta

3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, divided

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

3 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut in bite-size pieces (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon minced shallot

2 cups fresh arugula, stemmed and lightly chopped


1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil and add the orzo. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool, then drain well again. Place in a small bowl and add the olives, 1 tablespoon basil, 1 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons oil until combined. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, 2 tablespoons basil and shallot and toss to coat.

3. Place half the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart jar with a lid. Top with half of the orzo and some of the arugula. Continue layering with the rest of the tomatoes, then the orzo and the rest of the arugula. Scrap in any extra dressing on top. Cover and chill for up to 2 days before serving.