I don’t know about you but in the summer I don’t like to turn on my oven. Salads are nice but the men in my house like the “stick to your ribs” chow. This salad is the best of both worlds. I decided to add grilled chicken. Now I don’t have to heat up my oven and there’s still man ingredients so everyone’s happy.
1 package fresh cheese or spinach filled tortellini – available on dairy aisle in most markets
1/2 pound fresh baby spinach
1 (15-ounce) can baby artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 red roasted pepper, drained and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, cracked from skin
2 teaspoons lemon juice, the juice of 1 wedge
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
A handful sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, coarsely chopped
Grilled chicken (optional)
1. Bring 5 or 6 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Salt boiling water and add pasta. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until pasta is just tender and the tortellini are floating. Drain tortellini, then cool the cooked pasta by spreading them out on a large plate or a cookie sheet in a single layer.
2. Coarsely chop baby spinach. Combine with artichoke pieces, roasted red pepper and red onion. Chop garlic, then add salt to it and mash it into a paste with the flat of your knife. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and lemon juice and vinegar to it. Whisk in oil, and pepper. Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to the salad. Dress salad and gently toss. Add grilled chicken if you’d like. Serve or refrigerate.
3. For all the cheese lovers sprinkle crumbled feta or shaved Parmesan before serving. Woo hoo!