Tortellini salad with lots of veggies like peas, corn and peppers with a light vinaigrette dressing and lots of herbs.
I hope you are enjoying this German grill salads series. I thought now that the weather if finally getting warmer, we would spend more and more days out in garden, in the sun, so this would be the right time to present you with some typical salads that accompany most grilling events, small or big, in the area where I live in Germany. I am definitely not a grill person, I’ve never personally grilled anything until now, my brother-in-law is our Grill-Master here, but I do have to take care of all the rest: from getting the plates and glasses out in the garden to making the salads, bread and everything else. So even if I cannot tell you much about the right grilling temperature or time, I can tell you a lot about making delicious salads or sauces, breads and so on.
Another typical German grill salad is the tortellini salad, you will find at least one variation of it at every grill party you go to around here. I had a few different versions of it during the past 12 years spent in Germany, but this one must be my favorite, the main reason for that being, it taking a bit of a pause from the usual dressings, which are over saturated with mayonnaise. I like mayonnaise, but when you have 3 or 4 salads in front of you all featuring a jar of mayonnaise dressing, then you kinda start looking for something else… at least I do.
Don’t get me wrong, the other salads with mayo are totally yummy as well, but I just prefer this lighter, fresher version of a tortellini salad, I feel that through the tortellini which are mostly filled with cheese, it has enough “going-on” inside it anyway, so who needs the heavy dressing.
The original version of a tortellini salad around here includes canned and chopped pineapple. You can use it, if you like it, but I am not a fan, that is why I prefer to leave it out. This allows me to top the salad with some extra cheese, feta, which I feel would not suit the pineapple so much. The size of the tortellini is not important, I have already made this salad using large or small tortellini, fresh or dry. Dry are OK, if that is what you have, but I do think the fresh ones taste better. You can also choose any filling you like, I prefer cheese or spinach and ricotta, but I have also eaten this with tortellini with a meat filling, it is definitely up to you.
So enjoy the warm weather, I know I will, it is finally here but who knows how long it will last, must enjoy every minute of it!
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz fresh tortellini, filling of your choice (I prefer cheese)
- 150 g/1 cup peas, frozen
- 1 bell pepper, red or yellow
- 1 red onion
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz mushrooms
- lots of fresh herbs like parsley, oregano and chives
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz feta cheese
- 30 ml/ ⅛ cup herb vinegar (or regular white wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 100 ml/½ cup olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tortellini according to the packet's instructions, adding the peas during the last 2 minutes of the cooking time. Check that the tortellini are cooked through, if the peas are still frozen, you might have to increase the cooking time for the tortellini slightly. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stir well and leave to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Slice the bell pepper and the red onion into fine strips and slice the mushrooms. Chop the herbs finely.
- Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, grated garlic clove, sugar and some salt and pepper. Slowly add the remaining olive oil while whisking continuously until the mixture emulsifies.
- Give the vegetables and the herbs to the noodles bowl. Add about ¾ of the dressing and stir well. Leave to marinade, in the fridge, for at least 2 hours.
- Just before serving, add the rest of the vinaigrette (if necessary) and adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Crumble the feta on top and serve.
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