Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Caprese salads spell S-U-M-M-E-R. Not literally, of course! Fresh hand-picked basil and tomatoes from the garden, and morsels of mozzarella cheese make this Italian-inspired dish a light and refreshing, yet satisfying summer meal.

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

My love for mozzarella di bufala all started in Molise years ago, when my husband’s relatives introduced me to REAL mozzarella, not the shredded, over-processed stuff. Despite my poor, distressed stomach and sinus issues (thanks to a mild dairy intolerance) I literally devoured fresh mozzarella di bufala EVERY single day.

Fast forward to the present, and my love for mozzarella is still going strong-even though I rarely eat it. Despite the fact that I have avoided consuming most dairy products for over 10 years, I still cannot help but steal a morsel of creamy mozzarella whenever I prepare this salad for my family.

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

This recipe is a twist on Insalata di Riso, and of course a traditional caprese salad, since I’ve combined the mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, with arborio rice and creamy avocados-why not add an extra dose of healthy fats to one’s diet, right?

This salad is best served chilled-but not too cold, otherwise the flavours won’t come through. Mind you, I kept piling spoonfuls in my mouth while preparing this-even though the rice was still warm, and is was equally delicious!

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Although this salad is delicious as is, the balsamic vinegar reduction is the cherry on top. It adds a sweet, tangy flavour and pairs wonderfully with this salad, heightening the delicate flavours of the fresh ingredients.

If you’re running low on time, or don’t feel confident enough to prepare the balsamic reduction (which really isn’t that difficult at all) you can serve this caprese salad with a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing, or your favourite balsamic-based vinaigrette.

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

If you love caprese flavours, you’ll love these recipes too;
Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad
Caprese Eggplant Rolls
Caprese Pasta
Pesto Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

2016-08-07
: Serves 4-6
: 5 min
: 15 min

Caprese salads spell S-U-M-M-E-R. Not literally, of course! Fresh hand-picked basil and tomatoes from the garden, and morsels of mozzarella cheese make this Italian-inspired dish a light and refreshing, yet satisfying summer meal. My love for mozzarella di bufala all started in Molise years ago, when my husband’s relatives introduced me to REAL mozzarella, not the shredded, …

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Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction
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Ingredients
    2 cups arborio rice, cooked
  • 1 large ripe Hass avocado
  • 1 mozzarella di bufala (packed in water), drained and cubed
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbs. raw honey or sweetener of choice
  • 2-3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Directions

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add the rice and cook on high heat (uncovered) for 15 minutes or until al dente. The rice should be soft on the outside with a slight bite on the inside. Drain and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, chop the avocado, tomatoes, and mozzarella into cubes and finely mince the basil.

For the balsamic reduction, bring the vinegar and honey to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the vinegar is reduced by half, stirring occasionally.

Do not overheat the vinegar as it will thicken even more as it cools. As a rule of thumb, once the vinegar coats the back of a spoon, still dripping thinly from it, the reduction is ready.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large serving bowl, pour the balsamic reduction over the rice salad then mix gently until all the rice is coated. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then mix again.

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Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction

34 thoughts on “Caprese Avocado Rice Salad with Balsamic Reduction”

  • I just found this recipe from the link you put on the Caprese Avocado Toast recipe on theKitchn.com. This looks wonderful and I’d like to try it with the balsamic reduction that I’ve never tried before. But looking at the recipe, it says to boil the vinegar and honey together, but the ingredient list doesn’t state how much honey to use. No other comments above have mentioned this, but I have looked at the recipe 3 times now and just can’t find it! For someone who really has no idea how much honey to use, could you please include that? Thanks.

    • Hi Amy! Thanks so much for visiting! Don’t know how I missed that…I just added it to the ingredient list! Let me know how the recipe turns out for you!

  • I love love love Caprese salad. This one looks so easy and flavorful.

  • That looks so delicious! I haven’t tried caprese salad before but It’s something I’ve been meaning to. I’ll have to try your recipe.

  • Now this is something unique. I’ve never though of combining rice and avocado in one plate — more so for a salad! But I think it will work. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jennifer Borget 3 years ago

    Yummmmmm! I love how simple it is to make as well! Can’t wait to try this out with the fam!

  • Kristy 3 years ago

    Now this looks like an amazing dish! I’m pretty sure that I could eat this on a regular basis and never grow tired of it. I love all things avocado, anyway, and this looks absolutely flavorful. So simple, too, which has to be my favorite part!

  • Alison Steward 3 years ago

    You’ve got my attention – anything with Caprese in the title equates to deliciousness. And I love rice so I think this is definitely a winning combination.

  • Farrah Less Gomez 3 years ago

    This could be my every day meal. The salad really looks delicious and healthy. Growing up in asian country rice is always serve in our table. I know its carbs but I can’t live without it. I will definitely added it to our menu for family get together this coming weekend.

    • Yes, rice is carbs however, it’s all about moderation! You could always switch up the ratios so there is less rice, and more of the other good stuff 😉

  • Melissa Dixon 3 years ago

    Not only does this salad look so good to eat but it is so pretty I would have to snap a pic and share it on Instagram. Of course I will tag you when I do, this looks amazing. I love all of the colors and variety. Thanks for sharing!

  • During the summer, I try to eat salads at least once per day. I can have a salad for lunch every day of the week and be happy. This recipe looks and sounds so delicious. I love having avocado in my salads!

  • Stockpiling Moms 3 years ago

    This caprese avocado rice salad with balsamic reductions looks amazing! It is perfect for summer lunches! I am going to have to give this a try. Anything with caprese and balsamic and you have me at hello!

  • adriana nudo 3 years ago

    This looks AMAZING!!!! I love caprese salad and all versions of it, it’s so yummy and so great for all different meals! Mozzarella and tomato is my favorite mix – it’s so yummy and I’m very Italian so it’s something we have often! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • This salad looks and sounds delicious. Something our teenage daughter would really enjoy. She loves to spend time cooking, and mixing flavors like this. Though, she is vegan, so she would have replace the cheese. But I bet it would still be fantastic.

  • Weekends With Winter 3 years ago

    That salad looks insanely amazing! I love the balsamic choice, it just looks like the perfect refreshing summer salad

  • I have heard of balsamic reduction but honestly didn’t know what it was. Thanks for the education! I personally love ranch dressing, but need to eat less of it. I’ll have to give yours a try.

  • I love, love this dish! I love that it simple and that it is easy to make. This could also be made ahead of time for like a dinner party.

  • Jelli 3 years ago

    This salad sounds incredible! Like you, I fell in love with real fresh mozzarella while in Italy. (How I’d loooove to go back!) I love everything about this salad and am hoping the basil in my garden pops up soon. Never have tried rice salads, but with all the yummy goodness in this, you certainly couldn’t go wrong!

  • Francisca Ramos 3 years ago

    You recipe looks so good. I’ve been looking for a recipe to create for rice. I like your idea and like how you picked the ingredients. It’s not hard to make. Thanks for your recipe.

  • This is such a delicious looking dish, so nutritious and flavourful too. I am not big on any sort of cheese, the texture of it puts me off but I can eat melted cheese funny enough.

  • This looks so perfect and refreshing for lunch on a hot summer day. You’ve combined so many of my favorite things! I haven’t cooked with arborio rice before. I love that it can be put in the fridge for a few days, though. Jasmine and other rices get so sticky and hard!

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