Following the theme of our Panzanella post, we created two more side dishes perfect for any Memorial Day gathering. We each took a different approach. Kara’s Tortellini Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil incorporates deep roasted flavors and cheesy pillows of pasta while Marni’s Haricots Verts Almondine Salad features a crunchy, fresh saute. Both can be served at any temperature which allows you to focus on your bocce or wiffle ball game, boat outing, or any activity celebrating the unofficial start to summer!
Kara’s Tortellini Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
2 T EVOO
1 eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 cloves minced garlic
16 oz fresh cheese tortellini
1/2 c grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper throughout
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic, EVOO and salt and pepper. Spread on a large oiled baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and roast for approximately 30-35 minutes, stirring vegetables occasionally. Once the vegetables are softened, remove from the oven and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini in the boiling water according to the package instructions and drain.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked tortellini with the roasted vegetables, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve at room temperature or cold. Serves 6-8 sides.
Marni’s Haricots Verts Almondine Salad
1 1/2 lbs haricots verts, roots and ends removed
1/3 c slivered almonds
2 T unsalted butter
2 T EVOO
1/2 c minced red onion
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper throughout
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the haricot verts for 2-3 minutes, rinse under cold water and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, toast the almonds until golden brown, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same saute pan, melt the butter and EVOO. Add the red onions and saute until slightly translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Toss in the haricot verts, almonds, and lemon juice and cook for a couple more minutes.
Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly drizzle with EVOO and serve at room temperature or cold. Serves 6-8 sides
Two stellar sides served alongside a burger hot off the grill!