This is the most organic of recipes (am I using that word correctly?). Organic in that you throw in a little of this and a little of that. Two pounds of cheese tortellini, boiled in salted water and chilled in a quick ice bath and drained. Add 1 cup of peas, defrosted in the microwave, and 1 cup of chopped basil leaves. Now, the variations on tortellini salad are as many as there are vegetables in your fridge. Carrot sticks, asparagus, brussel sprouts, fennel? Just coat the vegetables with olive oil and roast in a 400F oven. Then toss with the tortellini. For a final touch, make up your favorite balsamic vinegraitte, toss with a generous grating of parmesan (1 cup) and you are ready to go. Enjoy!
That line was uttered by my mother and accompanied by her slowly making the sign of the cross, in a most dramatic fashion, as she often did when she heard something she thought utterly preposterous. I replied, “I didn’t say I didn’t like your potato salad, ma, rather I said I didn’t like any potato salad.”
“But, the world goes crrrrazzzzy for my potato salad” (Insert thick Greek accent with appropriate r and z rollings of the tongue). It’s a vignette that Rand and I have played out countless times, and it never ceases to make us chuckle.
Actually, her potato salad is quite good. I just can’t get past using mayonnaise by itself as a dressing for any type of salad. Mayonnaise based salads make me choke with that cloying taste which never seems to clear your tongue. Whether it’s chicken salad or lobster salad or potato salad, store bought mayo is too thick, too rich and too much.
Better I think to combine equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise with a little buttermilk for texture. Season liberally with salt and pepper and this “souraise” will coat any salad with a true dressing, sure to leave the tongue with a pleasant tang. I love it.