Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

This salad was so good and just one of those fresh tasting, hit the spot meals. My husband raved about it and that's pretty impressive when you're serving salad for dinner! The cheese tortellini was perfect with the crisp asparagus and tomatoes and I loved the lightness of the dressing and the fresh basil . This is one of those dishes that you've got to use fresh herbs. It just wouldn't be the same without. I served mine as a main dish but it would be great alongside some grilled chicken or fish. The recipe called for fresh tortellini but I used frozen and it turned out great.

Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
Cook's Country

Serves 8 to 10
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 shallot , minced
1 clove garlic , minced
1 pound asparagus , tough ends trimmed and sliced thin on the bias
2 (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini (I used frozen with great results)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ounce Parmesan cheese , grated (1/2 cup)

1. Whisk the olive oil, basil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta salad.
2. Cook the asparagus in 4 quarts boiling water seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a colander using a slotted spoon (do not discard the boiling water) and run under cold water until cool. Shake out any excess water and toss with the vinaigrette.
3. Return the water to a boil, add the tortellini, and cook until tender, following the package instructions. Drain the tortellini thoroughly, then toss while hot with the asparagus and dressing. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
4. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, stir the toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, and Parmesan into the salad and season with salt and pepper.

To Make Ahead
The salad can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated a day in advance. Before serving, freshen the salad with a spoonful of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Posted by: Sallie
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Anonymous said...

Very tasty! Great taste. I left out the pine nuts because I don't like them, it didn't feel like I was missing anything. YUM!

Anonymous said...

Kids loved and said "this is a keeper!" Making it for family get together tomorrow!

Mahmudul Hasan said...

Great job .Thanks for sharing such a fantastic recipe.Keep up writing and giving us many more like this one.
Tortellini recipes

Anonymous said...

This is a really good recipe even for winter!! It's so good!!

Anonymous said...

Using this for a Bunco night - I'm sure the girls will love it!

Cindy Rowe said...

Found you via Pinterest--now I'm following you, too!
I will be making this for our Mother's Day cookout this weekend! This sounds perfect!
Stop over and say hello sometime!
Cindy @

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing.

I found you via pinterest and haven't searched your site for other recipes yet, but wanted to let you know that I found this one to be non-logical in its directions. I normally read through recipes before hand but in my hurry tonight, I did not do that and was frustrated to see the boiling of water/asparagus after mixing things in a bowl. I would have rather been told to boil the water first. Just a minor piece of feedback to help the writing be more logical and helpul.

Thank you again for sharing, it was enjoyed by everyone!

My Sister's Kitchen said...

Thank you for your comment. I followed the exact directions from Cook's Country, but I agree that it would be more efficient to start the asparagus boiling first. Thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

Hi - this recipe is from America's Test Kitchen cookbook. I was going to make it for a family gathering and am pleased to see the good reviews.

Sweet Stuff said...

I made this tonight for a summer BBQ. Very nice! Looks pretty, taste awesome and makes a lot of servings, (filled a 13x9 glass dish).
I will make this tortellini salad again!!

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