Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tortellini Spinach Salad

There are some times in life where your definition of a great meal is something unbelievably chocolaty and rich like the chewiness of a warm brownie; sometimes that definition involves a perfectly grilled fillet mignon with blue cheese crumbles; and still sometimes that great meal will be something light, but filling, nutritious and flavorful, and easy to make while elegant to present. 



The Tortellini Spinach Salad is the light-filling-nutritious-flavorful-easy-to-make-elegant of those options mentioned above. What I found most refreshing about this meal was how sweet the asparagas tasted against the somewhat peppery fresh spinach.
The whole recipe was a great combination of filling from the cheese tortellini to the creaminess of the goat cheese to the crunch of the pine nuts & radishes, all brought together by a binding olive oil/lemon juice/vinegar dressing.

This recipe was a great plus to a home that was very warm from the heat outside because....I didn't have to turn on the oven!!!

A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc to drink and a side of herbed flat bread and hummus, and my summer evening was complete.


Tortellini Spinach Salad


Ingredients:

  • 1 Package 16 oz Cheese Stuffed Tortellini
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch length pieces
  • 1 Cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 4-6 radishes, cleaned and sliced into thin pieces
  • 1/4 Cup pine nuts, can be toasted for extra flavor
  • Bunch spinach, cleaned and de-stemmed (do not use frozen)
  • 4-5 oz goat cheese
  • Fresh chives, diced
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp White Wine Vinegar
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • Salt & Pepper

Preparation:
  • Start a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, complete all of the prep work: cleaning all of your vegetables, all your cutting and dicing and making the vinaigrette.
  • Vinaigrette = Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk together till well combined.
  • When water is at a steady rolling boil, add the tortellini. Cook time on most frozen tortellini is 4-6 minutes. Quickly prepare an ice bath for when the cooking is done. An ice bath is a large bowl with ice and cold water. 
  • 2 minutes before the tortellini is done, add the asparagus to the tortellini boiling water. 30 seconds before the tortellini is done, add the peas. Drain the cook pot in the sink and pour the tortellini, asparagus and peas into the water bath. This will stop them from cooking any longer, but keep the vibrant color achieved by boiling the vegetables.
  • Drain the ice bath and pour salad into another bowl. Add spinach, radishes, pine nuts, goat cheese, chives and vinaigrette. Toss to coat.
  • Serve & Enjoy!
Happy Cooking!

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