In the summer, my cooking seriously improves. As long as I can get to a farmers' market and not mess up royally, dinner doesn't take much more effort than chopping everything up, throwing it into a bowl, and covering with oil and lime juice. Blushing red peppers, bursting tomatoes, crisp zucchini, and sweet corn were the inspiration for this summer salad.
The interesting twist this time was the use of boiled cheese tortellini. Kicking around in the back of my freezer, the ring-shaped pasta elevated this salad to greatness, without elevating the effort level. Though tortellini may seem unlikely, it gives a chewy richness that I found satisfying. A dinner of all raw vegetables can be too sweet and acidic (not to mention leave you hungry again shortly thereafter). But the tortellini solved this problem.
- 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced into strips
- 1 large handful cherry tomatoes
- 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed
- 1 small zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 2 large handfuls mixed greens
- 15-20 small frozen tortellini
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- Olive oil to taste
- Salt and pepper
1. Bring a pot of salty water to boil, and cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and run cool water over them until room temperature, and pat dry.
2. In the meantime, prepare the pepper, corn, and zucchini, and add to a bowl with the tomatoes. Cover with lime juice and about twice as much olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the greens and tortellini with the dressed vegetables, top with fresh pepper, and serve immediately.