Monday, July 22, 2013

Summertime Pasta Salad with Vinaigrette

I could not wait to share this recipe! I will be honest, I am not the biggest fan of pasta salads, but this recipe has changed my outlook! I am used to pastas coated in a thick mayonnaise or loaded with Italian dressing, neither of which says "Yummy!" to me. This recipe combines a fresh vinaigrette with perfectly ripened vegetables. One of the great things is that this salad has it all. You get you starch, vitamins, and protein! Additionally, since there is no mayonnaise involved, you can take this to a picnic and not have to worry.
FOR THE PASTA
1/2 Pound Spiral Pasta
8 Cups Water
4 Tablespoons Salt

FOR THE SALAD
1 Large Cucumber, Peeled and Seeded
2 Large Tomatoes, Seeded
1 Haas Avocado
15 Ounces Canned Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1 Ear Corn, Kernels Removed from Cob



FOR THE VINAIGRETTE

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
3 Tablespoons Honey
3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Cilantro
1 Clove Garlic
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1. Place a large pot on the stove. Fill with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil. Season the water with salt. Add the pasta. Cook for 7-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
While the pasta cooks, prepare the remaining items.
2. Chop the cucumber, tomato, and avocado into bite size pieces. Place all of the vegetables into a large bowl.
3. In a blend, combine all of the vinaigrette items except the oil. Blend on high until completely smooth. Carefully remove the center of the blender lid and stream in the olive oil. Continue to blend for 1 minute.
4. Pour the hot pasta onto the vegetables. Top with vinaigrette and stir, completely coating all of the pasta and vegetables with the dressing. Add additional salt, to taste. 
5. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: If you do not serve it immediately, make sure to stir before enjoying to redistribute the vinaigrette.

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