Episode 1.5

We were scheduled to dine at Andrea's on May 13, 2008, but since her husband surprised her with a Mother's Day Get-Away, which left that morning, we changed the venue to Bridget's and ate "sans main dish". The evening started with Lynley's "Fresh Tomato Bisque". We then had two salads,"Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette" by Lara and "Vietnamese Cabbage and Chicken Salad" by L.S. (Jodi made some delicious homemade rolls with "Raspberry Butter" and Bridget supplied the Barefoot Contessa's "Coconut Cake". There was definitely plenty of food. and as usual, we enjoyed going around the table, getting the "scoop" on every one's lives.
Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
(This was a hit - we all loved it!)
6 T olive oil
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed and sliced thin on the bias
2 (9 oz) packages fresh cheese tortellini
1/4 c pine nuts
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
Whisk olive oil, basil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 t pepper together in a bowl large enough to hold the salad.
Cook the asparagus in boiling water seasoned with 1 T salt until tender, about 3 min. Transfer asparagus to a colander using a slotted spoon (do not discard the boiling water) and run under cold water until cool. Shake out any excess water and toss with the vinaigrette.
Return the water to a boil, add tortellini. Cook until tender, following the package instructions. Drain the tortellini thoroughly, toss while hot with the asparagus and dressing. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 min.
Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 min. Just before serving, stir in the toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, and parmesan into the salad and season with salt and pepper.

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