Apr 18, 2011

Tortellini Salad


This dish holds special significance for me because one of the first times that I went to my in-law's house (before they were my in-laws) by myself, my mother-in-law had this for me to eat.  I can't remember why I went over there without James, it was probably only for a few minutes that I was there without him, but for some reason, this dish always reminds me of that day and that was the first time that I remember feeling really, really comfortable with the people who would later become my family!

I have blogged this before but I felt like it deserved to be somewhat rescued from the archives.  Beyond having such a great balance of flavors, this salad has such great textures.  The chewy tortellini, the soft spinach, the creamy feta...it all just works so well together.  This is always my go-to dish when I need to make lunch for a bunch of people.  It holds up really well and is good for a day or two after it's made so you can make it ahead of time or enjoy it for leftovers.  Either way, it's definitely a memorable salad.

Tortellini Salad
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pkg. Kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 (16 oz.) bag tortellini (frozen or fresh)
1 6 1/2 oz. jar marinated artichokes, reserve marinade
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. black olives, sliced
1/2 c. feta, crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. green onion
1 (5 oz) bag fresh spinach leaves, torn or chopped
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp. dried basil 
1/4 tsp. dried dill


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add Kielbasa.  Brown 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
2.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook tortellini to package instructions.  Drain well.
3.  Once Kielbasa is well browned, place in a large bowl.  Return skillet to stove top and reduce heat to medium.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, tablespoon reserved artichoke marinade and 1 tsp. white whine vinegar.
4.  In the bowl with the Kielbasa, combine tortellini, sausage, olives, feta, artichokes, green onions, tomatoes, spinach, and garlic mixture.  Toss to combine well.  Add basil and dill, season with salt and pepper.  If needed, add more olive oil and white wine vinegar.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

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