The weather is heating up which means it is time to break out those refreshing summer dishes. I love spring and summer food. Everything feels lighter and healthier. This cold Greek tortellini salad is exactly what a summer dish should be. It’s got some great garden items combined with the refreshing tang of lemon. It’s a great one to take to summer picnics or potlucks.
1 package cheese tortellini
2 cucumbers, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
1 can whole olives
2 lemons, juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup feta cheese
1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water (see cooking lesson below).
2. Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and olives in a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the vegetables and add in the olive oil and feta. Stir to combine.
3. Add the cooked tortellini to the vegetables, stir, and let cool in the fridge until ready to serve.
The above recipe asks you to rinse your pasta. Why is that? Well, generally you don’t rinse pasta because in doing so it rinses away starch. However, rinsing that starch away can come in handy sometimes. The starch is what causes pasta to stick together and clump up. So, say you are serving a large spaghetti dinner and don’t want to add a bunch of olive oil to your pasta? Well, just rinse that starch away and your pasta won’t end up a clumpy mess. It changes the texture of the pasta a bit (more slippery), but it’s a handy trick. I have you rinse the pasta in the above recipe both to help it cool quickly and to keep it from clumping together before you combine it with the veggies. That way you can either eat it right away, or put it in the fridge until ready to eat.