One of the signs of summer is when you start receiving gifts of zucchini, lots of it, mysteriously appearing on your back doorstep. Our neighbor this year left only two but these were green monsters. At first I thought bigger must be better but I learned that larger ones are not as flavorful (even bitter) and tend to have tougher skins and seeds. I was too lazy to attack the veggie-beasts with a shredder for zucchini bread so I peeled and cut one into large round slices and grilled them with olive oil and barbecue sauce. It was quite good! The flesh was tender and juicy but definitely needed the sauce.
To use up the second squash, I flipped through some cookbooks and found a super easy recipe from Light Cooking (Publications International) for a Tortellini & Roasted Vegetable Salad. Short ingredients list and brief instructions. Perfect for a summer meal! This salad can be served at room temperature or chilled but I loved it warm, with the tortellini and vegetables just cooked. After the dressing was mixed through, it tasted heavenly! I thought the cheese tortellini was filling enough but you can add chicken, as the original recipe used, or even some chick peas or cannellini beans for more heartiness.
Tortellini & Roasted Vegetable Salad (makes about 4-6 servings)
3 cups whole medium mushrooms
2 cups cubed zucchini (peel the zucchini if skin is tough)
2 cups cubed eggplant
3/4 cup red onion wedges
13 oz package of cheese tortellini
6 cups argula and leaf lettuce
Nonstick cooking spray
Sun-dried tomato vinaigrette (or your favorite dressing); I used Newman's Own Lite Sun Dried Tomato Dressing
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Place mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and onion in baking pan and spray evenly with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables start to brown. Cool to room temperature.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and cool to room temperature.
- Combine vegetables, tortellini and lettuce in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat.