Tortellini Salad

Another Mother’s Day has come to pass – I hope it was a great one for everyone! Last year I wrote about the new Mother’s Day tradition in our home. For the first few years after my son was born, we would take my wife out to brunch for Mother’s Day. When the pandemic hit and everything was shut down, we worked to recreate the brunch in our own home. Even though things are open again, we grew to love the new tradition of brunch at home.

We let my wife sleep in and have the morning to herself while my son and I go to work preparing everything. We usually start the brunch between 10:30 and 11:00. For the first two years we really focused more on the “br” and less on the “unch” side of the event – with that being the first meal of the day, we all tend to go more for the breakfast foods first.

This year I decided I would make something that would also touch on the lunch side a bit and I put together the idea for the tortellini salad with orange vinaigrette dressing that I am sharing today. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Tortellini Salad

  • 1 12 ounce package of dried cheese or cheese and spinach tortellini
  • 1 stick of pepperoni, about 6 ounces, cut into quarter inch pieces
  • 1 8 ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces pearl sized fresh mozzarella
  • 15 to 20 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare the tortellini according to the directions on the package. Drain and return to the pan and toss them with the olive oil – this will keep the tortellini from sticking together. Chill the tortellini for at least 30 minutes.

Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. You could also place all of the ingredients in a shaker bottle and shake vigorously to combine.

Pour the cooked tortellini onto a platter. Evenly distribute the pepperoni, roasted red peppers, mozzarella pearls and basil on top of the tortellini. You can drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and serve the rest on the side, but I prefer to leave the dressing off altogether and allow each person to pour as much or little as they like on their portion.

The layers of ingredients made a nice presentation on the platter and the combination of classic flavors came together to make a delicious salad.

As is our usual habit, I wasn’t surprised that we all went for the breakfast foods first during the brunch. Even though it wasn’t eaten that morning, the beauty of having a more lunch like item on the menu this year was that it translated into a nice dinner. We put a lot of time and effort into cooking the brunch early in the day and having a quick and ready to eat dinner that evening was a welcome addition.

Mother’s Day brunch year 3 was a success – my wife enjoyed the day and her brunch, and we loved making it for her. It’s a bit early to think about it, but I’m already wondering what changes we’ll make next year. We like to mix some new things in with some of the old favorites, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Until next time, I hope you all have a great weekend.

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