How to Make a Tortellini Salad.
The thing I love most about summer is the abundance of local produce that’s available at the markets and our farmers market. For Lisa, this time of year means the beach, suntans and summer vacation and since she just retired from teaching I guess her summer vacation just got extended! Which means more meals for me to prepare….lol
With summer in full swing and all those lovely fresh veggies to choose from, salads have become a bigger part of our menu selection. Too many of our friend’s salads are simply a bowl of lettuce with tomatoes, maybe a cucumber or a handful of store-bought croutons…..definitely not my idea of a salad. In our household salads are anything but boring and you never know what might end up in my salad bowl.
When teaching my students the fundamentals of salad prep, I give them a few simple guidelines to follow to motivate them and to start them thinking outside the box. I teach them to think components when building a salad, and that a good salad should always have a minimum of 4 components. Fruit is always a good choice, cheese is a must, and nuts often perk up a bland salad. But don’t stop there, once your thinking has been adjusted, you’ll understand that your salad bowl is like a blank canvas just waiting for you to create your next masterpiece.
For lunch yesterday I created a fairly simple salad adding a pasta component, and instead of fruit, I went with olives. My cheese was a mountain Picante Gorgonzola that added phenomenal flavor and depth to the salad and of course field-grown Jersey tomatoes and a little red onion for a contrasting flavor.
I used cheese tortellini for my pasta selection, but meat tortellini would have been a nice addition adding a more distinctive flavor to the salad. Served up on a bed of romaine with some garlic toasts, it was perfect summertime lunch, light yet satisfying. Of course, we ended the meal with a few slices of watermelon for dessert…..sigh, I do love summer!
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like these:
- Nicoise Salad with Grilled Shrimp
- How to Make Summertime Salad
- Blackened Salmon Salad
- How to Build the Perfect Dinner Salad
Remember salad doesn’t have to be boring, use that empty canvas to create your next masterpiece!
Carrie's Experimental Kitchen
I’m also a huge fan of salads in the summer and love Jersey tomatoes, being a Jersey girl myself. I can’t wait for my varieties in my own small garden to fully blossom. This salad looks wonderful and I just love the addition of olives and Gorgonzola cheese. Enjoy the rest of your summer Chef!
I have a love affair with blue cheeses, you can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw this recipe. And using the summer produce makes it even more appealing. I love summer too…
That looks SO amazing! and colorful too!
Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
Chef Dennis, I’m in love with this salad. Pinned. With the balsamic and the fresh vegetables … I’m with you. ::::sighing over the love of Summer. Thanks for posting this recipe.
Kim | a little lunch
Dennis, I loved your analogy of salad prep as a blank canvas. You’re a food artist if ever there was one! I have a hard time driving down the road without frequent stops at roadside stands… just picked up fresh peaches in Arkansas last weekend and the local farmers’ market is in full swing. Ahhhh yes… summertime.
That is a gorgeous salad! I love fruit (or olives), cheese and nuts in a salad. Lovely photos, too!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
I could live on this salad, every single day! Love the layers of flavors and textures 🙂
Wow! I’d like to have this salad cold. So refreshing in this hot summer 🙂
Christiane - Taking On Magazines
Summer on a plate, that’s what your salad is. I could live on it.
Happy Valley Chow
Fantastic recipe chef, this sounds delicious! 🙂