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Friday, July 15, 2011

Confetti Salad (Orzo with Lemon Vinaigrette)

When I  first started cooking in my early 20's I went through a phase where every dish I cooked  was "confetti-ed". I would literally chop up several peppers and onions all at one time and have them ready to go for the week. Potato Salad with tri-color peppers and red onion was one of my favorites. This salad also made the potluck and party rounds as well. It's an instant party in a bowl!
I don't actually remember how I made it back then, only that it was a pasta salad with peppers and onions. As I was flipping through my cookbooks the other day I found this recipe that reminded me of my confetti pasta salad days. I just happened to have a few leftover pepper scraps from dinner the other night, turns out I am still pretty fond of tri-color peppers. So, I decided to give this salad a whirl for lunch.It really hit the spot, nothing better than a lunch that is both visually appealing and tasty as well.

Confetti Salad
adapted from Macrina Bakery Cookbook

Ingredients for Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon zest, freshly grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Salad
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into medium dice
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped into medium dice
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped into medium dice
1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta, cooked according to directions on box
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups crumbled feta cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup lemon vinaigrette (see above)

For Vinaigrette:
Combine all ingredients in a quart size canning jar and give it a good shake, alternately whisk in a bowl. You will end up with more vinaigrette than you need for the salad. I like to do it this way as I can then just put the lid on it and store it in the fridge. The vinaigrette is good on tossed greens as well.

For Salad:
Combine all ingredients including 1/3 cup vinaigrette in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Serve at room temperature. Can be stored in fridge for 24 hours, but bring to room temperature before serving.


  1. It looks perfect for such a hot summer day like today!

  2. Making it with a lot of substitutions (like spicy brown for dijon) and different colored peppers and no feta and a little kale for color in absence of fresh parsley. Still wonderful. Thanks for the idea. It sure brightens up a rainy day like today.


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