Salad with Warm Pasta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

With all the great fresh veggies available right now, we’ve been eating lots of salads. Having a warm element in a salad some how makes it feel like a main dish, and tonight it was Spinach and cheese Tortellini.

That contrast of temperatures, textures and colors takes an ordinary salad to something really quite amazing. I also had some lovely baby radishes from my friend Gene, so with a good drizzle of my favorite balsamic vinaigrette, it was a perfect summer supper!

Ingredients

1/2 lb. fresh Tortellini (any kind)
1 tsp olive oil
Good pinch kosher salt
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of garlic powder

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 1/4 cup)
8-10 baby radishes, halved (if larger, quartered)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (Costco’s is amazingly good)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2/3 tsp dijon mustard
1/3 tsp honey
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cook Tortellini as directed on package.

Chop lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and radishes, and mix gently in a large bowl.

Mix all ingredients for vinaigrette in a mason jar and shake like crazy.

When Tortellini is cooked, drain water and toss pasta in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

To serve, place salad in a wide flat bowl, sprinkle with several warm Tortellini and drizzle everything with dressing.

Yum!

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

caprese salad

Nothing is more beautiful than tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, drizzled with a tangy, sweet balsamic vinaigrette!  And takes almost no time at all.

4 tomatoes, sliced 1/2″ thick
1 ball of fresh Mozzarella, cut into 1/4″ slices
Handful of fresh basil leaves

Vinaigrette Recipe:

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (Costco’s is amazingly good)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2/3 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 tsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix vinaigrette up in a mason jar, and shake well.

Layer tomatoes with Mozzarella and basil leaves on a broad serving dish, and drizzle the vinaigrette over. So good.

Romaine Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

balsamir salad

Just made this for supper tonight, and this salad was so good – a real “lick the bowl” dressing.  Maya made Ina’s Salmon using honey mustard, since we were out of Dijon and she roasted some Butternut Squash with butter, salt and pepper.  They were so delicious and had lots of bright, vivid colors on the plate. I love eating dinners like this!

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (Costco’s is amazingly good)
2 Tbsp Olive oil1/4 tsp garlic powder
2/3 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 tsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Hearts of Romaine, chopped
4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and quartered

Mix 1st 7 ingredients in a bowl.

Put romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Add hard-boiled eggs and dressing and toss. Our eggs were still warm from boiling which was a nice counterpoint to the cool, crisp salad.