I know I haven’t been blogging as much as I usually do. What can I say? It’s been hot, and I’ve been lazy. So I thought I’d make it up to you. I owe you at least a couple of summer salad posts (and they’re coming!). On deck is a fantastic Greek salad with a homemade Greek vinaigrette. But today – today is the post for my new favourite salad. This salad I’ll be making forever, taking it to get togethers, impressing people everywhere.
Mind blowing pasta salad! That’s how I think of this particular pasta salad. I say that because not only is it based on a luxurious cheese filled pasta, but it’s got all kinds of rich ingredients like grilled zucchini, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Finally, I dress it with a pesto vinaigrette.
The original recipe for this salad was passed along to me by my friend T, and since I’ve made it the first time, I can’t get enough. It’s quickly become a favourite of anyone we’ve shared it with too. It’s just that good. It keeps well too, so it’s been great to prepare on the weekend and take for lunches through the week.
I’ve strayed from the original recipe a bit (found on Epicurious). I’ve made it without olives sometimes, I’ve made it without parsley other times. It really makes no difference though – this salad is as good without some ingredients as it is with additional ingredients thrown in.
Go ahead. Take it to your next get together and impress your people. I KNOW you’ll be asked for the recipe.
Thanks T for passing this one along. Just think of all of the happiness that is coming of this!
[Recipe] Basil Pesto Vinaigrette
Makes about 3/4 cup
1 – 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (to taste)
2 Tbsp basil pesto
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Add the red wine vinegar, pesto, and dijon mustard to a medium sized bowl. Whisk.
Drizzle the olive oil into the rest of the ingredients, whisking constantly, until all of the olive oil has been added.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
[Recipe] Tortellini Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette
1 lb fresh cheese tortellini
3 Tbsp olive oil
6 medium zucchini
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 recipe of Basil Pesto Vinaigrette (above)
Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain. Toss the tortellini with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and set aside to cool.
Try not to let this happen. *sigh*
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into strips 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.
Brush the strips with some of the remaining olive oil.
Grill the strips over medium-high heat until they just begin to soften, 4-5 minutes per side.
Let the slices cool, then chop them into 1 inch chunks.
Combine tortellini, zucchini, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, and parsley in a large bowl.
Pour the vinaigrette over all ingredients and toss well.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.