Saturday, August 1, 2009

Black Bean Orzo Pasta Salad

With the weather being warm, I'm all about lovely pasta salads, and I love anything that includes beans, because:

1. They are yummy.
2. They are cheap.
3. They are good for you.

I saw the orzo in my grocery store, and it just called out to me. I had to have it, in pasta salad form. I found an easy recipe, and after tweeking here it is:

Isn't she pretty? Now I know the picture isn't so great. I tried .... really. I used a 100 mm lens, but I didn't hold the camera quite still enough. Time to break out the tripod for future pics I guess.

The following recipe is from my favorite, I should tell you that I did not use the bottled italian dressing the recipe calls for, because I didn't have any, and I love making my own vinaigrettes. So there. My recipe is two glugs of a flavorful olive oil to one glug of whatever vinegar you want to use. In this case, I used an aged white wine vinegar, and it was rad.

Also I did not garnish with tomatoes as the below recipe says. Because the tomatoes available for purchase in the market looked like crap. I used a can of well drained tomatoes and incorporated them well into the pasta.

Here's the orignal recipe:


8 oz. Orzo or other sm. pasta shape
2 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 c. prepared Italian salad dressing
1 c. (15 oz. can) cooked black beans, drained
1 c. cooked corn, drained
Tomato wedges, parsley sprigs (optional garnish)

Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain. In a large serving bowl, combine parsley, pepper, cumin and Italian dressing. Drain pasta and add to dressing along with beans and corn. Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor. At serving time, garnish with tomato wedges and additional parsley. Serves 4 to 6.

Oh! And another thing you should consider. Orzo is a small pasta. Apparently too small for the colanders I have in my kitchen. I improvised, and carefully drained the pasta on my steamer basket. It worked pretty well in a pinch. I'm not perfect yo.

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