This Mediterranean Tortellini Salad is another recipe that, when I initially started envisioning it, I thought for sure would end up on My Evil Twin’s Kitchen. But then, the more I thought about it, the more my visions became fresh, healthy and nutritious, with my pasta being accompanied by beautiful pieces of crunchy green apple, fresh tomatoes, plump olives and creamy bocconcini instead of…
You know what? I can’t even remember what my previous, not quite so healthy vision consisted of. I guess summertime, what with its sunny and warm weather, will do that to you. When it’s really really hot and humid out, one rarely feels like eating really rich and heavy foods. Light and refreshing sounds much more tempting.
And this is precisely what this Tortellini Salad is all about. The fact that it uses tortellini as a base makes it rather filling, though. so a little goes a long way. As such, you can totally serve it on its own for a meatless meal, but it would also be spectacular alongside your favorite grilled meat or fish. It would be a great contender to bring to your next picnic, too!
One of the things that I really appreciate about this salad is that it comes together in just about as long as it takes to cook the tortellini, plus a few minutes of resting time.
Obviously, the first thing that you should do when you are ready to whip it up is cook the tortellini according to the instructions on their package.
Make sure you cook them well, though, because once they are chilled, they will feel a little bit firmer; al dente might not be the best option in this case. Don’t let your tortellini turn to complete mush, but do cook them until they are really soft and tender.
Once they are cooked to your liking, rinse your tortellini under cold running water until they are completely chilled and then leave them in the colander to drain for a few minutes.
While the pasta is cooking and cooling, prep all the other components of the salad and make the dressing.
To make that dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk vigorously until slightly emulsified.
All this prep work really shouldn’t take all that long; you’ll probably even have time to spare, while you’re waiting for that pasta to cook…
Once your tortellini are done cooking and chilling, throw them in a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients for the salad. Well, except for the basil, that is. I find fresh basil leaves are extremely delicate and tend to bruise super easily, so I prefer to add it at the very end. But maybe that’s just me, you know… of course you aren’t going to completely ruin the salad if you decide to add your basil right away, and you’re not going to hurt my feelings either. Besides, I won’t even be there to see you! 😉
Now pour the dressing over the salad…
…and mix well until all the ingredients are well distributed and evenly coated with the dressing.
Now add the chopped basil (if you didn’t sneak it in before, while I wasn’t looking) and toss it in delicately.
Ideally at this point, if time permits, you’ll want to let the salad sit for about 15 minutes to allow all the beautiful and refreshing flavors to meld and make friends.
Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a few days, although some discoloration is to be expected. If you are going to be serving this salad to guests, it’s probably best that you make it at the last minute…
Also, any chilled leftovers would greatly benefit from sitting at room temperature for a little bit, so the olive oil has a chance to relax some and get back to its more palatable, fluid state.
- 600g | 1.3lb frozen cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled
- 1 can artichoke hearts in quarters, drained
- 1 cup (170g | 6oz) mini-bocconcini, cut in half
- 1 cup (150g | 5.3oz) grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 green apple, cored and diced
- ½ cup (80g | 2.8oz) pitted kalamata olives
- ½ cup (70g | 2.5oz) sliced green olives
- ½ cup (50g | 1.75oz) chopped walnuts
- 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- Cook the tortellini according to the instructions on the package and then rinse them under cold running water until they are completely chilled. Allow to drain for a few minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, prep all the other components of the salad and make the dressing.
- To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk vigorously until slightly emulsified.
- Place all the ingredients for the salad, except for the basil, in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the dressing and mix until well combined. Add the chopped basil and toss it in delicately.
- Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld and serve.
- This salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to a few days, although some discoloration is to be expected.