Best Recipe: Spinach Tortellini Salad

Cook’s Notes: I found this recipe on the blog called “A Hint of Honey”. It was the perfect vegetarian entree for a summer dinner party. The original author notes, “The tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, red onion, and Parmesan are all essential.” I love making my own salad dressing, and the herb mix is a nice addition. As Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat says, “There is no such thing as a good bottled salad dressing.” I sautéed the cherry tomatoes and red onion together to deepen their flavors. This dish is a winner.

Spinach Tortellini Salad
Spinach Tortellini Salad

Italian Herb Mix (makes about 1/2 cup):
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Tortellini Mixture
9 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
16 oz box cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, sliced
6 oz fresh baby spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: 1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, chopped

Light Italian Dressing:
2 Tablespoons (1 oz) balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon dry Italian herb mix
2 Tablespoons (1 oz) olive oil

Assemble the salad:

Combine the herb mix ingredients. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Boil tortellini according to package directions. Drain.

While the tortellini cook, sauté the cherry tomatoes and red onion in a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and the tomato skins start to split and release their juices.

Toss the cooked tortellini in a large bowl with the spinach, tomato and onion mixture, Parmesan, and optional parsley or basil.

Make the dressing: Combine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and Italian herb mix in a lidded jar and shake well to combine. Add the olive oil and shake again. Drizzle the salad with Italian Vinaigrette. Mix well. (Use the dressing according to taste. The tortellini will soak up quite a bit of dressing, so you might find you need to add more later.)

Source: Adapted from recipes by A Hint of Honey and Gaynor Bussell (“Tomato Tortellini” recipe)