Tortellini and Ham Salad

Tortellini and Ham Salad

Main dish salads are always a favorite of mine when the weather gets warmer. Sometimes I just don’t feel like eating hot food. I made this salad with mushroom tortellini and some leftover ham. It might sound odd to eat tortellini cold, but we eat cold pasta salad all the time. Why not? I really liked it. The mushrooms flavor worked great with the smoky ham. I served mine on a bed of fresh spinach- which made the dish even better.

Tortellini and Ham Salad

¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. red wine vinegar
1 t. fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. sugar, optional
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
12 oz. mushroom or cheese tortellini, cooked
1½ c. diced ham
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 c. sautéed, sliced mushrooms, cooled, optional
4 green onions, chopped

Parmesan cheese, optional

Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl and whisk to blend well. Add next 5 ingredients and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side. Serves 4.

Tortellini Artichoke Salad

Tortellini and Artichoke Salad

Tortellini and Artichoke Salad

With warmer weather I wanted a dish that could be a side salad or a main dish and require little cooking. I came up with this tortellini  and artichoke salad. I had some frozen cheese tortellini that only required 5 minutes of gentle simmering.  I also had some garlic scapes and a large scallion I got at Blue Pike Farm the other day. Zest and juice from fresh limes added some extra zip.

Tortellini Artichoke Salad 

1 lb. cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1/2 c. oil

1/2 c. chopped garlic scapes*

1/2 c. chopped green onion

zest of 1 lime

juice of 2 limes

1/4 c. chopped cilantro

hot sauce to taste –  I used about 2 teaspoons

salt and pepper to taste

Combine tortellini and artichoke hearts and set aside. Heat oil in skillet and cook scapes and green onion until crispy- about 5 minutes. Pour skillet contents into tortellini mixture, including the oil. Add remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings,. Chill at least a couple of hours. Serves 8 as a side dish, 4 as a main dish.

*garlic scapes are the stems of garlic plants that are cut off the garlic plants to produce bigger cloves. They taste like garlic and look like curly green onions. If you don’t have garlic scapes add extra green onion and some fresh minced garlic to the dish.

Garlic scapes and a scallion

Garlic scapes and a scallion

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