Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Vegetable Tortellini Salad

I definitely owe you guys an apology.  When I posted the menu and pictures from Smith's Baptism Lunch last year, I received a ton of requests for the spring veggie tortellini salad recipe.  I kind of just threw it together on the spot at the time, and since I was making a really big batch and didn't write down all the ingredients, I was afraid it wouldn't translate well to the blog.  So I meant to make it again before posting, and I never got around to it before the end of spring.  BUT here we are.  Less than a week before Easter.  In the height of spring..... if "the height of spring" means 35 degrees outside, that is.  But we can still live vicariously through our food.

This salad has some of my favorite things:  asparagus, pasta, cheese, and crispy prosciutto.  It's lightly dressed in a lemony-herb vinaigrette, and served with more herbs.  If you're still planning your Easter menu, I highly recommend this salad as a side dish.  And if you're not planning your Easter menu or don't celebrate the holiday, I highly recommend this anyway.  It makes a great lunch or light dinner.  Enjoy!

Spring Vegetable Tortellini Salad
a Pink Parsley Original

As written, this serves 2-3 people as a side dish, but it can easily be multiplied to serve a crowd.

  • 1 (9-oz) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2-3 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, divided (I used a mixture of chives, parsley, basil, and oregano.  I really love mint in this as well though)
  • just a smudge of honey
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the tortellini according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, slice the asparagus into 2-inch pieces.  Add it to the tortellini for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time.

Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.  Drain again.  Toss with the frozen peas and set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the prosciutto, stirring often, until crispy and lightly browned. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of the fresh herbs, and the honey.  Whisking constantly, stream in the olive oil, and continue whisking to combine well.  

In a large bowl, toss the tortellini, asparagus, peas, dressing, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the fresh herbs. Allow to sit 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.  Sprinkle with the prosciutto and serve.

*This can be made the night before, but the vegetables may not retain their bright green color.  It will still taste great though!


Joanne said...

I told my mom I would make a lasagna for Easter but now I'm thinking maybe I should make a tortellini pasta salad! Looks like a whole bowl of goodness!

Kelsey said...

Josie, this sounds so light and perfect for my lunches. I think I'll be whipping up a batch very soon.

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