Monday, April 18, 2016

Tortellini Salad with Fresh Herb and Tomato Vinaigrette

     It was another beautiful Sunday and we spent a good part of the day at the lake relaxing and occasionally kayaking.  Dear Daughter attempted to take a swim but quickly changed her mind when she dipped her toes into the icy waters!  It was really nice to hang out together and these little adventures are a perfect way to begin the week.  Back in our neighborhood, lawnmowers were blaring before we left and were continuing well after our return.  I miss our European ordinances, which outlawed lawnmowers on Sunday.  Actually, any loud noises on Sunday were not allowed. Sunday is a day of rest and they take this very seriously.  Oh well, it was quiet and peaceful at the lake.

     Dear Daughter is not a sandwich eater so our picnics usually consist of charcuterie and cheese or salad.  But every once in a while, a good pasta salad hits the spot.  I have two that are very easy to make and super delicious.  They also can be customized to your particular tastes.

Tortellini Salad with Fresh Herb and Tomato Vinaigrette
Adapted from Michael Chiarello

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2 lbs cheese tortellini
2T olive oil, plus 1 1/4 cups for dressing
4 cups diced tomato
4T chopped tarragon leaves
4T chopped basil leaves
2T chopped parsley leaves
2 minced shallots
6T lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-in thick
4 cups arugula
Salt and Pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook tortellini according to package instructions.  Drain and toss with 2T olive oil.  Cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, herbs, shallots, lemon juice and remaining olive oil.  Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper.  When tortellini has cooled, add to bowl and toss with vinaigrette.

To serve, line the perimeter of a serving platter with overlapping slices of mozzarella.  Spoon tortellini salad in the center and scatter the arugula leaves over the top.

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