Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Italian Salad with Tortellini "Croutons"

Special and easy to make, this Italian Salad with Tortellini "Croutons" is a fun dinner for every one!

This salad is actually pretty simple. Chicken, lettuce, parmesan, and a simple Italian Vinaigrette. The addition of the fried tortellini makes this simple salad so delicious and unique. The whole wheat breadcrumbs and flour adds a nutty toasted flavor that can't be beat. This definitely isn't a everyday salad because of the fried tortellini but it's for sure worth it. 

Italian Salad with Tortellini "Croutons"
Serves 2
  • 9 oz bag torn Italian Blend lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 chicken breast half, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen tortellini
  • thinly sliced red onion, as desired
  • extras (cherry tomatoes, olives...), optional
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  • oil, for frying (such as grapeseed or canola)
  • Italian Vinaigrette, recipe below
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add frozen tortellini and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from water right away and drain completely. Set aside to cool enough to handle, about 10 to 15 minutes.

In a small saucepan or skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. You want there to be enough oil to cover the tortellini completely. This will differ depending on the size of pan or skillet you use.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, In two other small bowls, add flour in one and breadcrumbs in the other. Take the cooled tortellini and dredge it in flour, then in egg, and finally in breadcrumbs. Place on a plate. Continue until all tortellini are coated.

Carefully add tortellini into oil, about 10 at a time. Fry for about 1 minute, or until browned and crispy. Carefully remove crispy tortellini from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Continue until all tortellini are fried.

In a large bowl, dress lettuce with dressing as desired. I usually add about 1/4 cup. Divide dressed lettuce between two salad bowls. Finally, divide chicken, parmesan, red onion, tortellini, and any extras you like between the two salads. 

Italian Vinaigrette
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan, shredded (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
In jar, that has a tight-fitting lid, add all ingredients. Screw lid on tightly and shake to emulsify. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

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