Confetti Rice Salad

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 cup olive oil
6 cups rice, cooked and hot
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 scallions, sliced or green onion tops
1 cup raisins
One 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed and blanched for 3 minutes
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 large grated carrot
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Sunflower seeds, optional

To prepare vinaigrette: Whisk mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and 2 tablespoons parsley together in bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until thickened. Season to taste and set aside. Place rice in a bowl and toss with 1 cup of the reserved vinaigrette. Cool to room temperature. Add remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly. Season to taste and add additional vinaigrette, if desired. May refrigerate up to 4 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 12.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana