Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

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One of my favorite things about cooking and entertaining in the summer are the summer salads. There are so many to choose from and I want to try them all.  This salad is the perfect side for BBQ ribs or chicken and is substantial enough as a main course for lunch or dinner.

Tortellini Salad with Asparagus 

Adapted from Cook’s Country

Serves 8 to 10

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 shallot , minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black  pepper

1/2 cup chopped basil leaves

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and sliced thin on the bias

2 (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini

1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, basil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil and cook asparagus until tender, about 3 minutes.  Do not discard the boiling water. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the asparagus to the mixing bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

Add the tortellini to the boiling water, and cook using the package instructions. Drain and toss with the asparagus and dressing. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, add tomatoes and toss with the parmesan cheese.

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