This salad may not look like much, but with its simple ingredients it tastes pretty great. It makes a tasty lunch and travels well, so it would be a nice addition to a picnic spread. Ricotta stuffed tortellini is combined with blanched asparagus and broccoli, toasted pine nuts, avocado chunks and sprouts all in a fresh lemony garlic dressing.
adapted from: Super Natural Every Day
16 oz ricotta-stuffed tortellini (I just used a 20 oz package of Buitoni)
8-10 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1” segments
½ head of broccoli or equivalent broccolini, cut into small florets
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
small handful of fresh cilantro or mint, chopped (I used cilantro)
small handful of sprouts (alfalfa are common, but free to try others, I used clover sprouts)
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
Parmigiano Reggiano shavings for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously, add the tortellini and cook according to package directions. About 1 minute before the pasta is finished cooking, stir in the asparagus and broccoli. Cook for the final minute, drain, then run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
In the meantime, to make the dressing, use the flat side of your knife to mash the garlic along with a big pinch of salt into a paste. Whisk together the garlic paste, lemon juice, olive oil, and more salt if needed. Set aside.
When you’re ready to serve the salad, toss the pasta, asparagus, broccoli, and cilantro with about half of the dressing. Add more dressing to taste, if needed, and toss well. Add the sprouts, nuts, and avocado. Very gently toss a couple of times and enjoy topped with parmesan if desired. Keep the extra dressing on hand to refresh leftovers; the pasta tends to absorb it overnight.