20 years ago, a friend of mine was an editor working on a cookbook. One day she invited me to a picnic lunch on the Sonoma plaza. She was trying out one of the recipes, a summer tortellini salad. I was immediately hooked. And still today, it’s my dish of choice to most any potluck we go to.
I’m all about simplicity and minimal ingredients. I always make too much of this recipe and then get to enjoy it for lunch the rest of the week. For the large bowl as shown in the last photo I used 3 times the tortellini, beans and tomatoes. This is what I took to a 4th of July barbeque on Saturday. For a lunch serving for 3-4:
- One large bag of frozen cheese tortellini
- One can (yeah, can) of cut green beans, drained
- One basket of cherry tomatoes
- One bottle or less of Italian dressing (I prefer to make mine using balsamic vinegar)
You can adjust the ingredient quantities, you can’t really mess this up. You should resist the urge to add other ingredients, such as olives, etc. Trust me, this combination is time tested.
The night before serving, cook and drain the tortellini. Coat with about 1/3 dressing and chill overnight. The next day, add tomatoes (I prefer to halve mine), drained beans and the remaining dressing, stir and chill until ready to serve. You should make extra for yourself, seriously.