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

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