Tortellini Caprese Salad with Zoodles (wine pairing: rosé)

Tortellini Caprese Salad with Zoodles (wine pairing: rosé)

What foods can you not get enough of in the summer? For me this year, it’s tomatoes. Caprese, bruschetta, gazpacho, tomato soup, I love it all. While I love all things tomato, caprese has a special place in my heart. Or stomach, if we are being literal. Turkey burger looks boring? Add a caprese topping. Need to liven up plain pasta? Caprese!

Zucchini is another favorite summer food. I particularly love zoodles. If you don’t own a spiralizer, high end grocery stores will sell packaged spiralized zucchini. In my area (Metro Detroit), you can find zoodles in the produce section of Fresh Thyme stores. If no pre-spiralized zucchini is to be found and you don’t want to buy a new spiralizer, you can try thrift shops. Undoubtedly, someone had bad memories of a 2010s keto diet mid-pandemic and Mari Kondo’d a spiralizer out of her life. (While I love zoodles, they cannot pass as a replacement for wheat pasta. They are their own thing to be appreciated on their own merits.)

Also, if you have all the ingredients in your kitchen but the tortellini, you can make this with regular pasta. The cheese tortellini just kicks it up a notch. Also, if you don’t have or can’t find white balsamic vinegar, feel free to use regular balsamic. It won’t be as pretty, but the taste will be equally good.

This is the first recipe in my food and rosé pairing series. If you want to learn more about pairing rosé with food, please see this post.

Tortellini Caprese Salad with Zoodles

  • Servings: 4 entree or 8 side salad portions
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Wine pairing: rosé.

Ingredients

  • One 10 oz package cheese tortellini
  • Two medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 12 oz tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped finely
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped (or use mozzarella pearls)
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic glaze to top (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain tortellini and rinse with cold water.
  2. While tortellini are cooking, prep the next four ingredients and combine in a large bowl.
  3. Add cooled tortellini, white balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and salt to taste.
  4. Serve with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Winter Abundance Salad with Shrimp and Grapefruit

Winter Abundance Salad with Shrimp and Grapefruit

winter abundance salad with cabbage shrimp edamame and grapefruit

The earliest variation of this salad was a clean-out-the-fridge recipe, something I pulled together the day before grocery shopping.

The original also had shredded brussel sprouts instead of cabbage, but Trader Joe’s was cleared out when I went to recreate it. Not a single brussel anywhere. I can only conclude there is a cult of women in size 00 Lululemon leggings on a brussel sprout cleanse. If you see them huddled together, with their balayaged heads bent together, they are whispering, “Juiced brussel sprouts changed my life!”

May it be a short lived eating disorder so I can start buying brussel sprouts again.

This is exactly the type of entrée salad that I love because there are so many ingredients that you get different flavors in each bite. Also, there are so many colors in this salad that you can skip your multi-vitamins that day. (Please don’t take medical or nutritional advice from me. I know nothing.) But mostly, it’s a good way to make the most of winter produce like cabbage and grapefruit, which typically doesn’t get the same love as summer produce. The addition of pantry ingredients and freezer ingredients make it easy to pull together.

Winter Abundance Salad with Shrimp and Grapefruit

  • Servings: 4 to 5 as an entree
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (or brussel sprouts, if the Lululemon army leaves some for you)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled, segmented, and chopped
  • 12 oz shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined with tails removed
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 cup raw almond slivers
  • Optional toppings: sesame seeds, cilantro
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Roast almond slivers for 5 minutes and let cool.
  3. Stir together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Mix together all salad ingredients in a large bowl, except almond slivers.
  5. Stir in dressing and mix.
  6. Top with almond slivers. Add sesame seeds and cilantro, if using.

Meal prep tips:

If you are making this for a week’s worth of lunches: 

  • Prepare almond slivers as described in step 2. Store in a small container at room temperature.
  • Prep cabbage, scallions, and red bell pepper. Store in a large container in the fridge. 
  • Prepare salad dressing and store in a small container, also in the fridge. 
  • Each day, prep shrimp, edamame, avocado, and grapefruit. Assemble your salad.

Variations:

In my opinions, salads are always suggestions, so you should always feel free to replace grapefruit with clementines; or replace almonds with sunflower seeds; or increase/decrease acidity in the salad dressing. For dietary specific variations:

  • For vegetarian, either replace shrimp with either tofu or extra edamame.
  • For soy allergies and sensitivities, omit edamame and use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.