Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rotini and Black Bean Salad

From:  Pasta Salad Cookbook by Barbara Lauterbach

I followed this recipe but also varied it quite a bit.  I noted in blue writing what I did differently.  This is another salad that tastes better over time since the flavors get stronger.  Also, another good one to pack in my kids lunches.  I doubled the recipe when I made it so we'd have leftovers.

8 oz whole wheat/whole grain rotini pasta
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can black beans
1/2 c. cherry tomatos (I used roma tomatos)
1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed
1/4 c. chopped green onion, white parts
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 ripe avocado
salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh cilantro (I used an entire bunch)

*First of all, I doubled the recipe above.  Then, I added 1 red bell pepper, 1 bunch cilantro (instead of 1 tbsp), 1 tsp cumin, several dashes cayenne pepper, & garlic salt to taste.  I also used more beans and corn than it called for. In addition, double the dressing recipe.  As the pasta sits, it absorbs the dressing.  You need to add more prior to serving.  I grilled chicken breast to put in the salad for the family members that eat chicken.  If I would've had fresh spinach, I would have put that in it as well.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on box.  Rinse with cold water and drain.  Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and garlic in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then, whisk oil in until dressing thickens.  Add beans, corn, onion, chives, cilantro, bell pepper, etc. to the pasta.  Pour dressing over pasta and toss.  Add cubed avocado to pasta and fold in.  Refrigerate at least an hour or longer before serving.

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