Tuscan Tortellini Salad

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Summer Salad……… Tuscan Tortellini Salad.


Tuscan Tortellini Salad

Summer salads are the best……cool, fresh veggies, in yummy, light dressings….makes my mouth water at the thought.

Pasta salads are some of my favs. I really like tortellini for summer pasta salads. Filled with cheese, or meats they are little packets bursting with flavor.

Tuscan Tortellini Salad

I like to use Barilla’s Cheese & Spinach tortellini, egg pasta folded around creamy Ricotta cheese and tender spinach, and pinched into a distinctive ring shape. And they are cute!!!

Tortellini……Italian………Tuscan……..I feel a flavor profile coming together.

Tuscan Tortellini Salad

Sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, and sopressata.
Sopressata is similar to hard salami, and it can also be spicy!
Tim and I had sopressata on a pizza in Las Vegas at Wolf Gang Pucks restaurant. It was spicy and delicious.

Tuscan Tortellini Salad

I think the bocconcini mozzarella balls are the cutest little things. Bocconcini means little bites in Italian…….too cute!

A simple vinaigrette of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar…….I have been using this lately as it doesn’t discolor dishes like regular balsamic does…….a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper.

Tuscan Tortellini Salad
This salad is easy to make and can be kept for several days…….in my opinion, it was even better the next day. The flavors melded together soon nicely.

Pair the Tuscan Tortellini Salad with grilled meat, or add a nice loaf of your favorite Italian bread, and a glass of your favorite beverage and you have a summer salad thats sure to please……..

Tuscan Tortellini Salad
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1- 13 ounce package Barilla cheese & spinach tortellini ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces sopressata or other Italian style meat, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 8 ounce package of fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ c. Parmesan, shredded
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large serving bowl.
  2. For the dressing: Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. To the tortellini in the bowl, add sopressata, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, and dressing tossing until well combined.
  4. Garnish with Parmesan.

 

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Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich

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Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich


Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich
So, what do you have for Saturday lunch?? I like a sandwich…….Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich.
I have commented on two things recently …….1. We have a lot of asparagus and 2. I seem to throw out too much food.
The asparagus is not a problem…..we could eat it everyday. But the chicken, I took it out of the freezer and it would not wait.

Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich 1
It was Saturday and we needed lunch……..I needed to use the chicken. Ok……. a chicken sandwich. I was thinking grilled with grilled asparagus…. but that seemed……..well sorta boring.
I love grilled sandwiches, with gooey fresh mozzarella cheese. Chicken…. I poached mine but you can easily use left over chicken…….tomatoes, why not, make that sundried tomatoes, the kind in oil. I think they are the best, they have a sweet, intense taste and chewy texture. Onions to me are necessary for any sandwich.
My ingredients so far were leaning towards Italian flavors. How about pesto??? Can you use asparagus for pesto? You bet your sweet bippy you can……you will really need to be of a certain age to get that reference.
Roasted asparagus and garlic, basil, almonds, and olive oil, blended to a yummy spread…….I really could have just eaten it with a spoon!

Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Toast the bread on all sides, add the cheese to start melting, layer with chicken, tomatoes, and onion. Smear the other side of the bread with the asparagus pesto, and toast until desired toastiness. Slice and enjoy.
Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich……..Saturday lunch!!! Ok you can have it other days…..like any day you want an awesomely, delicious sandwich!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Asparagus Pesto Chicken Sandwich
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • Pesto
  • 3-4 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed ( about ½ bunch)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • coconut oil spray
  • ¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Sandwiches
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • About 2 cups cooked chicken
  • Sliced red onion
  • About 2 cups cooked chicken ( any left over chicken will do )
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with coconut oil spray. Chop asparagus and toss onto to pan in one even layer. Add the peeled garlic cloves. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, puree together the asparagus, garlic cloves, Parmesan, almonds, and basil. Drizzle in olive oil process until smooth and paste-like. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spray bread slices with coconut oil spray on both sides.
  5. Place bread on a grill pan, or skillet, over medium heat, to toast bread slices. Once both sides are golden brown, place cheese on bread, layer with sun dried tomatoes, chicken, and red onion slices.
  6. On the other slices of bread smear the Asparagus pesto. Top the other bread with this one to form the sandwich.
  7. Remove from skillet slice and enjoy!

 

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