On a hot summer day, when a big pot of boiling pasta is unappealing, a rice salad is just the ticket. You can boil the rice hours before you need it and just toss it together with other ingredients 30 minutes before you sit down to eat.
Bring rice and 1 ¾ cups water to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook the rice until just tender, 15-20 minutes. Spread rice on a tray to cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions have softened and the garlic is fragrant. Add the cooled rice and fry lighted to warm through. Toss in a bowl along with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and some salt and pepper for seasoning. In a small bowl, whisk the oil and lemon juice together in a small bowl and pour over the salad, tossing gently until all the rice is coated and ingredients are mixed well. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Just before serving, toss in the basil, check seasonings, and serve.