I travel a lot for work. I’ve done fieldwork all over western and northern Canada, as well as a few stints in the States. One of my favourite things to do when I’m traveling is check out the unique local restaurants. Eating at chain restaurants is fine, but when I visit a new place I like to find the local gems.
When I was working in Green Bay, Wisconsin, I found the best coffeehouse/café called Kavarna. It was less than 5 minutes away from the office I was working out of, and they had arguably the best food in Green Bay. But no deep fried cheese curds on the menu here (a Wisconsin classic). It was all good, healthy, vegetarian/vegan friendly, homemade food. One of my favourite items on the menu was the spinach and tortellini pasta salad. Adding spinach into pasta salad is such a simple idea, but it really lightens it up.
When I got home I decided I would try making my own version of this. Warning: this does make a large amount of salad, so adjust recipe amounts to make less if you don’t want leftovers. I love leftovers, so I just make the whole amount and then eat for lunch throughout the week. If you’re going that route, just make sure to dress it immediately before eating. It’s a lot better than soggy leftover salad.
As far as dressing goes, I use a cherry poppyseed dressing that I bought while I was in Wisconsin. It’s delicious, but unless you happen to live near Door County, you probably aren’t going to be able to find this. However, I’m sure any poppyseed dressing, or even Italian or Greek dressing would also work.
- 1 large package cheese tortellini (700 g)
- 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach (approx. 4-5 oz)
- 1 cucumber
- ½ red onion
- 1 cup feta, cut into small cubes
- Dressing of choice
- Cook tortellini according to package directions. Let cool completely.
- Dice cucumber and red onion.
- Mix spinach, cucumber, onion and feta cubes in a large bowl.
- Add tortellini once cool. Toss.
- Dress immediately before serving.