Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cool Dinner for a Hot Day: Primavera Salad

"Primavera" may mean "spring", but I always crave this salad on a hot summer day. To make it a main dish, add cooked & cubed chicken breast to the salad, or serve it as a side dish to grilled chicken. Either way, you'll have a refreshing meal that will make you feel like you're at your beach house, feeling the ocean breeze (when you're really sweating in the TX sun and staring at the blow-up pool in your backyard)!

Salad Ingredients:
1 7oz pkg refrigerated or frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1 medium sweet red or green bell pepper, cut to bite size
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced - or make it easy and buy the bag of grated carrots! :)
fresh spinach leaves - I use about 2 cups or one small bag

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup purchased pesto
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook tortellini; drain, Rinse with cold water; drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine tortellini, broccoli, pepper and carrots. Set aside.

Stir together dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour over tortellini mixture; toss until combined. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Mix in fresh spinach leaves right before serving.

Serves 6. Can be doubled and you should double it if you are taking it to a party or serving it to a crowd because it will disappear!

I got the recipe from my sister-in-law, Dawn, years ago. The original recipe was from Better Homes and Gardens Summertime Cookbook. Find Better Homes and Gardens online at

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