This past Sunday, Father’s Day, my nephew threw a barbecue at his house. His dad (my brother) was the guest of honor and my other nephew grilled up some delicious burgers and brats for all of us. I volunteered to make a side dish and a salad sounded good. But a tossed salad? Nah, I wanted something more substantial. I keep bags of frozen tortellini in my freezer for those nights I just want to whip up something quick when I’ve been running around at work all day. I thought a tortellini salad would be good since I see them in the grocery store deli case frequently. But, I wanted color and freshness to go with it. Adding lots of fresh veggies made this tortellini salad the hit of the party.
Father’s Day was a day to remember my dad who passed away in 2013. He was 89 years old and lived a life that HE wanted. He was quite a guy and I learned so much more about him when my sister and I cleaned out his house. His letters cracked me up. He saved everything (and I mean everything) and he had scads of photos from when he was young up to just before he passed. I really miss him so having family to hang around with on Sunday was very important to me. The picture above was taken April 2013, the last time I saw him before he passed.
For my salad, I wanted lots of freshness and color. When I went to the store, I decided there would be pops of red, yellow, green and more. I found red & yellow tomatoes, fresh spinach and snipped fresh basil from the garden. The only thing I used canned was the corn since the corn at the store didn’t look that great to me. With a light dressing and some parmesan (two kinds), this was just bursting with flavor and the color I was looking for.
Summer Tortellini Salad with Tomatoes, Spinach & Corn
|Prep time||2 hours|
|Cook time||5 minutes|
|Total time||2 hours, 5 minutes|
|Meal type||Salads, Side Dish|
|Occasion||Barbecue, Casual Party|
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one large lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons garlic flavored red wine vinegar
- 1 Large clove garlic (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- 2 bags Great Value Frozen Cheese Tortellini (19 oz each)
- 2 cups Cherubs Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half lengthwise)
- 2 cups Sunburst Yellow Tomatoes (cut in half)
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 stalk green onion (sliced thin)
- 1 can yellow corn (drained)
- 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Now I would have also included sliced black olives but hubby and one of my nephews hate them. I think it would have just added to the fresh taste and look of the salad. This not only works as a side dish, but also a main dish for a nice light lunch. So fresh. Within the next couple of months, I can harvest all these veggies from my own garden.
For more side dish ideas for summer and beyond, follow my Pinterest board.
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