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need meatless tortellini salad recipe

I'm having a small get-together this weekend with a few girlfriends. I'm making the following munchies:

mini cheese & brocolli quiche
cold shrimp with two dips (cocktail sauce and a creamy cilantro dip)
double-tomato bruschetta bread
tortellini salad (cheese tortellini)

However, I don't yet have a good recipe for the salad. I'm looking for a creamy recipe since the bruschetta is a vinaigrette. Also, the recipe should be easy to do ahead. Any suggestions?? Thanks!!!

Also...I'm open to changing the last item to something else, if anyone has a better suggestion. I'm not very good with "balancing" menu items...The only restrictions are it should be meatless and easy to prepare ahead (or very quick on the day of).

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  1. I love tortellini salad! I like to add broccoli, artichoke hearts, and hearts of palm. Kalamata olives would go nicely too.
    As far as the dressing, how about a cremy parmesan?
    http://www.recipezaar.com/144172

    I think that a creamy dressing would be great-vinegar based dressings tend to get absorbed by the pasta, and get dried out quickly.
    Good Luck!
    www.houndstoothgourmet.com

    1. This isn't very fancy, but it's a good fallback for picnics that I like to make. Cook your tortellini. Reserve some water. When it is still very hot, toss it with enough diced tomatoes (fresh if available, but canned will do) and feta to melt into a sauce. Stir in chiffonaded basil, olives, artichoke hearts, capers, what have you - you can really cater it to your own preferences here. Salt and pepper, then cool. Once it's cool, I'll sprinkle a bit more feta over the top.

      It really isn't fancy, but it does turn out nicely.

      2 Replies
      1. re: katecm

        Thanks katecm. It sounds delicious and easy. I might not use it this time because the ingredients are a bit too similar to the bruschetta. But I'll definitely keep it on hand for another time! I looove feta :) One question - what do I do with the reserved water? Add with the tomatoes?

        1. re: zainab13

          Oh, yeah. I will use that more often when I use fresh tomatoes, which will have less juice than canned, just to make sure that there is enough "sauce."

      2. Might not be what you're looking for, but I use ONLY evoo, S&P, garlic, parmesan, chopped plum tomato, and a lot of chopped parsley. Not really a vinaigrette, but it's clear, not creamy.

        1. What about pesto on the tortellini, then topped with some pine nuts and shaved parmesan?

          3 Replies
          1. re: valerie

            I love, love, love pesto and tortellini together. I will make a cold salad of it and serve it topped with diced tomatoes and parmesan.

            1. re: valerie

              OOOH. Very nice.
              That one's in the rolodex now. Thanks!!

              1. re: valerie

                Yummy! I love pesto too. However...you don't think it'll be a little too much basil? There's fresh basil in the bruschetta as well. Maybe I could use gordeaux's recipe but sub mayo for some of the olive oil? And add some roasted red peppers.

              2. I make tortellini salad on wood skewers. This started out as a red and green holiday thing but now I make it all year. Cut large (1 1/2"?) chunks of peppers (orange, red, green) large mushrooms, and any vegetables that are available and are sturdy enough to stand up to being skewered. I cube different kinds of cheeses (again, this can be adjusted seasonally. I usually add cubes of pepperoni but you can obviously omit that. Everything gets a good marinade in a some kind of a wine vinegar and olive oil dressing. Then I take cooked, cooled tortellini and begin making "kebabs" of the various veggies, cheeses, meats and the pasta. I usually serve them standing up in a glass pitcher. They are really uniqueand I always get compliments on them.

                2 Replies
                1. re: southernitalian

                  Now that is a great idea! I'm not good with presentation so this sounds like an easy way to jazz up my table. But how far in advance can I skewer these? Also, do you marinate the tortellini too?

                  1. re: zainab13

                    Yes, sorry, that wasn't clear. I do marinate the tortellini. I think you can be pretty flexible with how far in advance. 6 hours? A little more. Sorry I'm not exact. It's just a very easy, flexible "recipe" that your friends will remember.