Every summer during the nine days, the bungalow colony I go to hosts a luncheon where the ladies get together to eat (read: gorge) a pot luck lunch. Everyone contributes something and we eat and shmooze and then roll ourselves back home. The luncheon ladies fall into two categories: those who bring the same thing every year ( rokot krumpli for those of you in the know) and those who try something new. I try to fall into the latter and I usually try to think of something original and creative to bring. I happened to find these beautiful cheese tortellini in the store and decided to use them to make this fresh, colorful and delicious salad. It was a big hit and the bright colors make you just want to dig right in. For the dressing I used rice vinegar even though it is more prevalent in Asian dishes because it has a milder flavor and I didn't want the dressing to overwhelm the delicate taste of the tortellini. Feel free to throw whatever veggies you have in but I highly recommend using the broccoli- its color and crunch really hit the spot. Enjoy!
1 lb cheese tortellini ( I used the brand Yoni's)
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets and blanched
1 1/2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
1/2 cup black olives. sliced
For the dressing:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2/3 cup light olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Place the blanched broccoli, tomatoes, scallions and olives in bowl. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until well combined and pour over the veggies. Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions and place with the vegetables. The warm pasta will absorb the dressing well. Serve the salad at room temperature or cool and re-season with salt and pepper before serving.