I hope that your Fourth of July was splendid (for those of you in the U.S.). Every year the neighborhood in which I live gets together for a Fourth of July breakfast. There’s a 7:45 flag ceremony at someone’s house followed by a parade of kids on decorated bicycles, big wheels, or skateboards, pulled in wagons, or pushed in strollers. It’s a happy time as neighbors greet each other and share the good feelings about our country, our state, our city, our neighborhood. This year seemed to be our best turn out ever. I don’t know why; maybe people felt an extra need to be happy and to be with each other.
It was especially nice here in my neighborhood because Utah finally passed a firework’s law that now lets us have fireworks that shoot 150 feet into the air. My whole neighborhood was whooping it up and the sky was lit up all around us as people sent exploding, sparkling rainbows up into the night. We felt like kids on the first day of summer vacation. I kept clapping my hands and cheering at the sheer freedom of it all.
At my house, we had bought a few of the new fireworks and as our ‘grande finale’ aerial shot into the night sky right over my head, blossoming into arching, glittering showers of color, I felt as though I was flying. I felt so, so grateful that I was alive at that moment, that my family was around me, and that I could see it all happen and share the moment with those that I love. It was magic.
Because I felt just plain old dang happy today, I made up a couple of new recipes for the occasion. The one that I am sharing with you first is for a Tortellini Salad. It is a very easy and flavorful recipe, a little different than many ‘pasta style’ salads. Tomorrow I will share the most scrumptious Caramelized Fig and Banana Cinnamon Ice Cream. You’re going to love it! But for now, content yourself with this wonderful salad.
- 1 (24 ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions (not dry tortellini. Fresh tortellini is found in the refrigerated section with other fresh pastas.)
- 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives; or slice olives from a larger can of whole, pitted olives
- 1/2 cup small diced purple onion
- 1/3 cup diced roasted red pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence (find this in the dried herbs and spices isle at your grocery store)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- sprinkle of ground black pepper
- Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain into colander, then rinse under cool running water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
- Put tortellini in a large mixing bowl and drizzle it with about half of the olive oil. Toss gently to distribute the olive oil well.
- Add the black olives, purple onion, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil. Toss gently with tortellini.
- Pour the white wine vinegar and the remainder of the olive oil over the tortellini. Sprinkle with the herbes de provence, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix gently until ingredients are well distributed with the tortellini.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend.