Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Heat Is ON!

It is the first week of June and we have already had our first official heat wave! Let me tell you the past few days have been BRUTAL! To top it all off I had to attend a wedding AND bring a dish! Thankfully the bride requested that I make a pasta salad so the only real cooking I had to do was boil the noodles (Thank Goodness!). Now, I new the wedding day was going to be 90+ degrees and I would be riding my motorcycle down so absolutely no mayo would be going into this salad. I also new I was going to make a LOT so I had to keep it in budget too. I decided to try out a new recipe and I really liked it a lot - Southwestern Pasta Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. I love fresh veggies and the the dressing made for a tasty, yet light and refreshing salad. I don't know how everyone else liked it but I don't really care either! I ate a ton of it! LOL!

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

2 boxes Orzo Pasta
sea or Kosher salt


3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne/red pepper (or more)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 small red onion, diced
2 cans sweet corn kernels, lightly steamed
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions in plenty of salted water to al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking make the dressing: whisk oil, lime juice, honey, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, salt and pepper together. Taste and tweak if needed. Cover and store in refrigerator.

3. Drain pasta and rinse to cool. (TIP: I like to put the onions in the colander and drain the pasta over them to blanch them quickly and remove some of their bite.) Add to a large mixing bowl along with the onion, corn, beans and tomatoes. Add dressing and combine well. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Store tightly covered in refrigerator; toss well before serving.

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