Orzo Caprese Salad

I’m very proud to be a member of the food blogging community.  It’s full of so many loving and thoughtful individuals who understand the importance of the foods we eat and the choices we make as consumers. Today, many of us are joining forces to take part in Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes; a special event organized by Nicole Gulotta of The Giving Table.


food bloggers for slave free tomatoes


This day evolved from a separate amazing project: Tomato Love.  Tomato Love is a recipe exchange taking place all summer with giveaways from sponsors such as KitchenAid, Cuisinart, and BigKitchen. Its purpose, aside from sharing recipes, is to raise awareness for the International Justice Mission’s Recipe for Change campaign. Until recently, I had no idea that Florida’s tomato fields were being referred to as “ground zero” for modern-day slavery in the United States. In the past 15 years, over 1,000 people have been freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.   Today, it is our hope to bring awareness of this issue to as many people as possible.

Recipe for Change is a campaign led by IJM in partnership with the Fair Food Standards Council and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. They’re targeting three major supermarket chains this summer (Ahold, Publix and Kroger’s), and asking its CEOs to support the Fair Food Program. Corporations that join agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5 cents more per pound), and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these higher standards–and away from those who won’t.  Major fast food companies, like McDonalds and Subway, have already endorsed the Fair Food Program, but the largest U.S. supermarket chains have yet to support this collaborative effort to eradicate modern-day slavery. Supermarkets can help eliminate slavery and other serious abuses from the tomato supply chain when they join the Fair Food Program. But in order to change its policies, CEOs need pressure from consumers.

Where can I purchase slave-free tomatoes right now?

You can purchase slave-free tomatoes at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, your local Farmer’s Market, or your CSA box.

What can I do to help?

  • Send a letter to supermarkets that do not support slave-free tomatoes using this link. It takes all of 30 seconds  to fill in your name, email, and hit the send button. The more people we can encourage to participate, the greater the likelihood that supermarkets will change their policies.
  • Encourage the purchase of slave-free tomatoes from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and take action.  We can make a difference!  And now, here’s my recipe using slave-free tomatoes!

Tomato Plants

I’ve been enjoying my new garden tremendously this summer.  Tomatoes are definitely front and center! I have 3 different plants providing me with black prince heirloom, plum and cherry tomatoes.  This is my first time growing anything and I can say with confidence that tomatoes are very easy to grow.  Seriously, if I can do it anyone can.  The farmer’s market is great, but there’s nothing like grabbing a tomato straight from the vine, bringing it into the kitchen and using it while it’s still hot from the sun.  If you have a backyard, a deck or even a balcony you really should consider growing your own tomatoes.

For this wonderfully light Orzo Caprese Salad I also used homegrown basil and mozzarella from the local farmer’s market.  A few high quality ingredients are what make this special.  You don’t need fancy ingredients to make wonderful food.  Ingredients made with love taste that much sweeter.

orzo caprese salad ~ Savory Simple


Orzo Caprese Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup tomatoes of your choice, cut small (I used cherry)
  • ½ cup fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare orzo according to instructions. Make sure to salt the water. After it finishes cooking, rinse with cold water and drain.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, agave and lemon juice.
  3. Toss with the orzo in a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine,
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Customize the ingredients to your taste. You can add more mozzarella, basil, or both. You can also chiffonade the basil for a nice presentation.


Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, sponsored this week by BigKitchen Store.  Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Homegrown tomatoes are the best! Can’t wait to make this using tomatoes from my plants – I could eat a version of Caprese every day of the summer!

    • Savory Simple

      So could I! Such a classic combination.

  • http://stowell.wordpress.com Roger Stowell

    Very good salad. Can’t think what the name for orzo is in English ( just googled “barley”) but I’ve never considered using it this way. Time for a change.

    • Savory Simple

      It works very well in any pasta salad. It’s addicting.

  • http://justonecookbook.com/blog/ Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I actually have never tried orzo salad (I know I’m missing out) and caprese with orzo salad sounds so light and delicious! I’m jealous you have homegrown tomatoes! I live near the canyon where there are lots of wild animals and nothing, even flowers grows in my backyard!! They just hang out in our backyard…otherwise I’d totally grow my favorite tomatoes!! This is fabulous salad Jen!

    • Savory Simple

      Thanks, Nami! Orzo is a great substitute for pasta during hot summer months. Delicious and much lighter.

  • http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com Rosa

    This salad is scrumptious looking! I love orzo.

    It is important to buy slave-free food! For teh same kind of reasons I refuse to buy Spanish produces…



    • Savory Simple

      That’s awesome. We can make a difference!

  • http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/ Choc Chip Uru

    What a wonderful cause with so many advantages :D
    Your salad is the perfect tomato loving addition!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Savory Simple

      Thank you :)

  • http://www.bake-online.co.uk Jenny @ BAKE

    I completely agree, good quality simple ingredients make great meals! your photos are fantastic!

    • Savory Simple

      Why thank you! It’s all about quality ingredients.

  • love2dine

    Oh how beyond-words wonderful!!

  • Kathryn

    This is such a great recipe for such a great cause! I’m so excited to see how the community has come together like this.

    • Savory Simple

      It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

  • http://www.compulsivefoodie.com Asmita

    What a simple and satisfying salad! Love it!

  • http://www.downhomesouthjersey.com Jennifer M.

    I never thought about conditions for farm workers in the United States – and I should! Living in a New Jersey farming community, I see them toiling in the fields just a few miles from my house. Thank you for shedding a light on this issue.
    Right now I have so many tomatoes from my garden, I don’t know what to do! Your recipe is much-needed at this time.

    • Savory Simple

      I’d love to see some of yours! I have a LOT of tomatoes :)

  • http://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com Mad Dog

    Beautiful salad and tomatoes!

  • http://www.bakeyourday.net Cassie

    You are awesome Jen. Not only is this salad right up my alley, but your post is perfectly written. Thank you SO much for helping to spread the word!!

    • Savory Simple

      I appreciate that. It took me a looong time to get it worded properly :)

  • http://softandstiffpeaks.blogspot.com Amanda

    Looks scrumptious!

    • Savory Simple


  • http://thedomesticrebel.com Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    This whole dish looks beautiful, though I’d probably be the jerk who picks out all the tomatoes :) beautiful, Jen!!

  • http://unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    What an eye opener! I feel as though I’ve been living under a rock.
    Thanks for letting us all know about this issue! I’ll definitely be more careful about the produce I buy.
    May I have a bowl of this fabulous salad?! (And make it a rather large one, please!) Gorgeous! :D

  • http://www.piesandplots.net Laura Dembowski

    I had absolutely no idea tomatoes were such an issue. Luckily I much prefer to buy mine at the farmers’ market where they also happen to be much tastier too.

  • http://www.mydailymorsel.com Riley

    I’ve been on an agave kick lately. I can’t seem to get enough. I can’t wait to try it out it this salad!

  • http://www.grubarazzi.com Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    This is so cool, and a great recipe! If I would have know, I would have saved my most recent post for slave free tomatoes!

  • fabiola@notjustbaked

    I am so proud of you and the other bloggers taking the time to let this be heard. Thank you for this post and what you are doing. It is so important that people be aware of this! Thank you.

  • http://www.wineandolives.co.uk Rob

    the perfect summer summer dish, I haven’t had orzo in a long time and now you have totally inspired me again!

  • Pingback: Food Bloggers for Slave-Free Tomatoes | as a verb()

  • Mich – Piece of Cake

    Hi Jen, I came across your blog and I’m admiring your beautifully taken photos. I have never tried Orza, it sure sounds like a great salad. Wonder if I can find that locally where I live. When I was living in Texas, Whole Foods was my favourite place to go – its great they are also supportive of worthy causes.

    • Savory Simple

      Thank you! Give orzo a try, it’s really delicious. Looks like rice, tastes like pasta.

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com Joanne

    This is such an AWESOME cause! And it makes me grateful I only ever shop at TJ’s, Whole Foods and farmer’s markets.
    This recipe looks amazing! So simple and yet so satisfying.

    • Savory Simple

      Those are all of my favorite places to shop!

  • http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/ dassana

    i have never had orzo. the salad is looking so beautiful.

    • Savory Simple

      Orzo is awesome. It looks like rice but tastes like pasta!

  • http://mividaenundulce.wordpress.com/ Nydia

    It’s great to have our own vegetables in the garden. I used to have lettuce, but not anymore, now I only have mulberry and rosemary. I think having our own tomatoes could be nice. I will try as my son loves it.

    • Savory Simple

      Next year I want to try salad greens!

  • http://www.hskillet.blogspot.com/ Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook)

    i really need to try growing my own tomatoes, you are definitely inspiring me to try! such a classic and delicious salad!

    • Savory Simple

      It’s so rewarding! You’ll love it if you do.

  • http://carolynchan.wordpress.com Carolyn Chan

    What a great cause – it’s great to hear that the community can turn this around.

    • Savory Simple

      We are part of such an amazing community!

  • http://anecdotesandapples.com Monet

    Such an important issue to consider and advocate for and such a lovely recipe. Thank you for sharing both.

    • Savory Simple

      My pleasure. I’m so happy to see how many people are responding to the cause.

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist

    yeah your photographs are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing. Stunning!!

  • http://mykeuken.blogspot.com Lisa H.

    I love orzo
    Beautiful dish to be enjoyed in summer :D

  • http://thecompletecookbook.wordpress.com Mandy – The Complete Cook Book

    What a lovely simple and tasty dish.
    :-) Mandy

  • http://atasteofmadness.blogspot.ca/ ATasteOfMadness

    I have never had orzo before. My goodness, this looks good!

  • http://www.thisamericanbite.com ThisAmericanBite

    I loved this post and have included it in my July 2012 roundup of meatless meals. Thanks for the fresh approach and the inspiration!

  • http://lesliethefoodie.wordpress.com Leslie

    Looks delicious :) Your tomatoes look fresh all around wonderful :)

  • http://Www.aggieskitchen.com Aggie

    This is so my kind of salad, looks perfect.

    Thank you (& the others) for bringing awareness to this topic. I had no idea!! Sad that it’s happening in my state!

  • http://twitter.com/MomPhotographer Mom Photographer

    Crap… There are so many delicious (including yours) recipes with orzo and I just can’t find it in any of my local stores. I think I might turn to almighty Internet to purchase some… Where do you buy yours?! \
    btw, thank you for the information about Florida being a ground zero… I had no idea. Heading right now to fill the letter…

    • Savory Simple

      Do you have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods near you? I got mine at TJs. I’d ask at the grocery store, it might be hiding with random grains.

      • http://twitter.com/MomPhotographer Mom Photographer

        i’ll ask. thank you!

  • http://spinachtiger.com angela@spinachtiger

    I had no idea about this in USA with the tomatoes and other produce. It’s terrible and I’m going to pay more attention. Thank you for the exposure.