My favorite summer experience is easily attained under a shade tree at the lake watching the kids and dogs at play, with a summer salad and a cold glass of rosé.
In the heat, I tend to avoid mayo-based pasta salads. I’ve been making this fresh, colorful version for years, and we never get tired of it. Hope your family enjoys it, too!
Tortelloni and Grilled Vegetable Salad
Adapted from a Southern Living recipe
by Marian Cairns
3 medium zucchini (about 3/4 lb.)
1 package (8 oz.) sweet mini bell peppers
1 package (20 oz.) refrigerated cheese and spinach
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Greek seasoning to taste
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Make the vinaigrette and store it in the fridge while you build the rest of the salad. Stir together lemon juice and minced shallot, and let it sit for 5 minutes. › Whisk in olive oil, parsley, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. This dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Step 2: Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. › Trim and seed mini bell peppers. › Toss vegetables in vegetable oil and sprinkle with a little Greek seasoning. › Grill vegetables 4 minutes on each side or until tender (but not too soft). › Let vegetables cool, approximately 5 minutes. › Chop into bite-sized pieces. Tip: I use my cast iron grill pan on the stove for grilling the veggies, but you could also use a regular grill.
Step 3: Prepare tortelloni according to package directions. › Toss together warm tortelloni, grilled vegetables and 1/2 cup vinaigrette. › Sprinkle with torn basil leaves just before serving. › Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.