Summer "Up North"-Tortellini Salad

Goin’ on a picnic, leavin’ right away…..
Nah, Let’s first go out for breakfast and read the paper.

A weekend up north….it’s what Minnesotans (if they live elsewhere, that is) do in the summer. Cabin fever is as real as it gets here. The cities sort of empty out onto the mostly northern routes come Friday afternoon and people head out to find their family/friend groups until Labor Day. We joined the throng last weekend.
Our trip began very late on Saturday morning because we insisted on a long breakfast at our favorite near-by Mediterranean cafe, Shish. A new baby and two birthdays drew us and we joined family members who flew in from Florida for a caravan to, well, not to the cabin, but to the hotel anyway. Not until after the rain started and we had to replace a windshield wiper. To say nothing of the boocoo bucks we had just spent that day replacing tons of wiring mice had chewed in our apartment parking lot. (The four-wheel drive is still out because of the sweet little rodents; part yet to come.) Do we really need cars?

Here’s one sweet fellow we went to see—-

Fell in love with newest little Hadhazy:
Meet Blake Ryan, aged 2 months, son

of nephew Joe and wife Becky.
Loving brother of Olivia (see below)
Grandson of my sister, Helen (see below)

Spent a great day visiting with family, picnicing and grilling…. I brought my Tortellini Salad, which I for some reason forgot to photograph. Never mind: I have a great picture of Olivia instead! (Next time I make it, I’ll include the pic.)

Olivia turns six!
She’s as sweet as she looks!
Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!!!!

After the meal, Joe built a huge bonfire in the back forty and we enjoyed it along with sparklers and other fun fireworks. Mostly, we just enjoyed one another because we so seldom get together. Too sad. Can we fix that problem?

Grandma Helen gets cuddle time.

Lots of great food all day; wonderful drink, too. I had many requests for the recipe for the Tortellini Salad I took and, when I got home, had an email request from friend Jan for same. Anyway, here it is; you can adlib the veg…..

serves 12

18-20 oz. fresh cheese tortellini (find in cold case)
2 small zucchini, cut into matchstick size pieces
1 small yellow squash, ditto
1 red sweet pepper, ditto
1 yellow sweet pepper, ditto
1 green or orange sweet pepper, ditto
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4# hard salami, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/3 cup fresh basil, shredded (keep out 1 T for top of dish)
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (keep out 2T for top of dish)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3T red wine vinegar
2T Dijon mustard
1/3 c Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt; Freshly-ground Pepper

In 8 qt. stock pot, bring 5-6 qts. well-salted water to boil. Add fresh tortellini and cook about 8 min or according to package directions.
Meantime, make dressing: In large bowl (or baby food processor), whisk together red wine vinegar, garlic and Dijon mustard. Slowly pour in olive oil and whisk until emulsified (creamy and satiny). Add salt and pepper and stir well. Set dressing aside.
Drain tortellini while still a tad al dente and, while hot in colander, add all zucchini and yellow squash. Stir gently to let heat of pasta cook the squash just a tad. Allow pasta and squash to cool, stirring periodically.
Add sliced peppers, salami, all but 2 tablespoons parmesan and all but 1 tablespoon fresh basil. Stir gently; tortellini can fall apart easily. Drizzle most of dressing onto salad and combine. (Save some dressing to add right before serving) Refrigerate until needed or overnight. To serve, add extra dressing and taste salad for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with reserved basil and parmesan cheese.

{printable recipe)

Enjoying time at Gooseberry Falls at
Lake Superior. End of a great day……

Come see the Great Lakes!

Family members elsewhere: We missed you!

Sing a new song,
P.S. I’m reading nothing but new choral scores this week. If I ever get the nerve, I’ll post some video of my totally reinventing myself as a conductor.
Starting from scratch…. it’s fun at 55.

2 thoughts on “Summer "Up North"-Tortellini Salad

  1. Dear Alyce,Baby looks adorable, and I'm so glad you could visit with family. Looks like a lovely place! I love this salad, you have fixed it for us before and we loved it – Kelvin could eat everything and wasn't allergic. You are just amazing with food(you have many other gifts as well.) Your courses sound wonderful, I wish I was there. We got Yelena through the FAC and the performances were just great. We also got her registered in Greeley – a full slate of music courses. She is thrilled. Kelvin has a chance at a job – keep all prayers coming. Love you!

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