I love how retro these orange slices look on that plate! And this salad may look like a simple pasta salad, but it is so not. It contains tons of colorful veggies, mild mustard and orange vinaigrette and a load of beans. Because how can you have a pasta salad without beans? I chose the big ones, because they look awesome and are fun to eat. Of course you can use any other kind of beans, too. Kidney beans are my favorite for example.
I rarely use corn in my cooking, but this salad just screamed for it. So I carefully chose a quality canned corn product. It didn't contain any sugar, only had the sweetness of the corn itself. I'm not against sugar at all, but in some products it's just unnecessary. The corn I chose was so juicy and crunchy and just perfect for this salad. In the last minute, I decided to grab a carrot, chop it up and add it to the salad too. It gave some more color to the salad and also had a nice crunch in it. For the sauce, I decided to try mild mustard and orange vinaigrette. Sounds so fancy, but it's ridiculously easy to make. The mustard and orange don't dominate in this salad at all, so don't be afraid. The sauce just gives the needed taste and juiciness into it.
I must warn you though, and here comes the cheesy line - this salad is addictive. I am not kidding. When I finished my portion, I forked out some more mouthfuls straight from the salad bowl and so did my boyfriend, after he had TWO platefuls. You have been warned.
Serves: 4-6 people
Preparation time: 15 minutes
For the pasta salad:
- 3 cups / 550 g boiled small shaped pasta (about 1 ½ cups / 225 g uncooked)
- medium can of corn (12 oz / 340 g)
- medium can of pitted black olives (12 ½ / 360 g)
- 14 oz / 400 g canned beans
- one big cucumber
- half of a red onion
- ½ cup / 100 g thinly chopped carrots
- ¾ tsp salt
For the mustard and orange vinaigrette:
- juice of one medium orange (about ¼ cup / 60 ml)
- 3 heaped Tbsp mild mustard
- 1 Tbsp (olive) oil
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
In a big bowl, mix boiled and cooled pasta with drained corn, drained and halved olives, drained and rinsed beans, cucumber cubes, chopped red onions, chopped carrots and salt. Now make the vinaigrette: whisk orange juice with mild mustard, oil and pepper. Pour the sauce over the pasta salad and mix carefully. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish with fresh herbs if you like and serve right away.
Tip: if you want to serve the salad later, you can mix the salad ingredients together and keep it in the fridge. And just right before serving, mix the salad with vinaigrette.