Two Summer Salads: Tortellini Spinach and Roasted Potato

Another Salad!  I’ve posted several salad ideas/recipes over the past few months including San Marzano Tomato Salad, Caprese Pasta Salad, Cucumber Snap Pea Salad, Crab Salad Dip, Spinach Strawberry Salad with Jasmine Rice, and Jicama Snow Pea Salad.  And that’s only the salads I posted about – I also made a Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad that was delish, but I didn’t snap any pics or take any notes!  The great thing about salads is you really don’t need a recipe – all you need is inspiration and your favorite ingredients.


Last weekend we had some guests over for a pool day and dinner.  I planned on doing chicken skewers on the grill, and wanted to keep it simple with just two sides.  I also knew I didn’t want the typical summer cookout staples like baked beans or potato salad or coleslaw.  While I did end up making a potato salad, it was not mayonnaise based; instead I roasted the potatoes in the oven and made a spicy brown mustard based dressing and served it warm.  For the cold side, I combined a spinach salad with a pasta salad using tortellini as the pasta and throwing in olives and peppadew peppers for extra flavor.


You can make the tortellini salad the day before, but don’t add the spinach until right before serving, or it will wilt.  I used rainbow cherry tomatoes for added color, but plain red ones are totally fine.  For the potato salad, it’s best made an hour or so before you’re ready to eat.  Making it in advance means you’ll serve it cold, and the potatoes just won’t have the same texture as they do fresh out of the oven.

Tortellini Spinach Salad

1 8-ounce bag dried cheese tortellini
2 cups sliced rainbow cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced peppadew peppers
1/2 cup sliced olives, half kalamata, half green
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
2 cups torn baby spinach leaves
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
crumbled feta cheese

Cook tortellini in a pot of salted water according to package directions.  Be careful to not overcook – they need to hold their shape in the salad.  Drain, rinse with cold water and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the tomatoes, peppers, olives and cucumbers and gently toss.  In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the vinegars, then whisk in the olive oil.  Next, whisk in the mayonnaise until the dressing is smooth.  Stir in the seasonings and pour over the pasta mixture; gently stir.  Just before serving mix in the spinach and sprinkle with feta cheese.


Roasted Potato Salad

1.5 lb bag of petite (baby) gold potatoes
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into bits
1 green onion, sliced
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters and place on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and roast in a 425 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked through and browned on the outside.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  Place the warm potatoes (not too hot!) in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing, then sprinkle with bacon and green onions and toss gently to coat.  Serve warm.





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