Confetti Pasta Salad-Women’s Conference

 - by Elizabeth

Basic directions for the Confetti Pasta Salad for the Women’s Conference.

While I show the prep work for ONE batch of salad, please keep in mind that yours will be tripled, using the recipe amounts found below.

Thanks in advance for helping us out with the luncheon!

Shopping Preamble & Some Tips:

This is Orzo.  It’s a type of pasta that looks like large rice.  You’ll need a fine wire mesh strainer of some sort for draining after its cooked–it washes out of a typical colander’s larger holes.

It doesn’t much matter which brand of black beans that you buy.  I’ve used both a name brand and store brand and found both to be fine.

Here’s the basic round-up.

NOTE: Please use good quality olive oil.  Not that light stuff (which is blended with another vegetable oil) or any other cooking oil.  Just olive oil.  If you don’t have any, come see me.  I’ve got vats (I buy if from Costco in bulk).

If you wish to be reimbursed for your expenses, please save all your receipts–I’ll reimburse you that day, after the luncheon is over. However, we would appreciate it if you could donate your salad.

Please drop it off at the kitchen before going into the conference, and cross your name off the list, so we’ll know whose salad has arrived.  Thank you in advance for your willingness to help us out–with your contribution, this luncheon will be a big success (and delicious!).

Salad (The recipe is already tripled):

1 and 1/2 pound boxes of orzo  [NOTE: 1/2 box is about one and 1/4 cups of dry orzo.]
3 cans black beans (15 oz.), drained & rinsed
2 bags frozen WHITE tender corn, approx. 16 ounces
3 red bell peppers, finely diced
1 and 1/2 cups of red onion, finely diced (pieces are about 1/4″ size or smaller)
about 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to boil; add orzo.  Cook until nearly tender (not mushy, but not crunchy).  Drain, using a fine wire mesh strainer.  This may have to be done in batches.  Place drained orzo in a large mixing bowl.  You’ll continually add ingredients to this bowl as you chop and prepare them.

Drain the cans of beans, and rinse until water is clear.  Add to bowl, along with both bags of white corn–no need to defrost. Add the rest of the ingredients:  chopped red pepper, minced onion.

A cilantro bunch is kept in a glass of water, upright and covered with a plastic bag.  To use just whack off just above the twisty tie.  It will keep like this for at least a week or two (change water as needed).  I find a thumb’s thickness yields about 1/3 cup, chopped.  To measure, place LOOSELY in a measuring cup, or use the thumb-measure method.

Add chopped cilantro to everything in the large mixing bowl; pour one batch of Lemon Vinaigrette dressing over the mixture and stir gently to mix.  This can be made one day ahead.  Please cover tightly and refrigerate.

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 lemon (to yield about 4 tablespoons juice)
1/2 – 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (do NOT substitute other mustards)
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (you can buy this in the grocery store, or see me)
salt and pepper to taste

First, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a medium bowl.

Add the Herbes de Provence, a few grinds (or shakes) of salt and pepper, water and sugar.

Whisk to blend, then add the Dijon mustard (a healthy squirt) and whisk again.

Keeping that whisk going, dribble in olive oil until it starts to thicken, then add some more.  I probably use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup in total.  Cconcentrate on it going from watery looking to slightly thicker as it emulsifies, while you are continually whisking and dribbling.  The success of this is in the two actions: dribbling and whisking.  It takes about a minute or two.

Recipe yield: 45 one-half cup servings.  Yes, we are counting every serving.  We currently have 285 servings coming, so I’ll be making up a batch myself to bring it up to the 300 servings that we need for that day.

If you want to make this for your family, the amounts for a single batch can be found if you click **here**.

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