When our family traveled to Spain back when our kids were growing up we had a wonderful tour guide who was Italian. The way to pronounce bruschetta, she said, was “broo-sket-ah” and not the way most people pronounce it, “broo-shet-ah.” Bruschetta was one of our favorite summer treats. We’d take a loaf of Italian bread, slice it in half lengthwise, toast it on the grill, then rub peeled whole garlic cloves into all the surface grooves of the grilled side until the cloves disintegrated into the hot bread. Top it with a tomato-basil-caper mixture, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, cut into wedges and enjoy.
Remembering those idyllic summers in Minnesota, I got the idea to create a deconstructed bruschetta salad with tortellini. It was delicious and even better the next day for breakfast!
You just need a pot to boil the tortellini, a cutting board and a knife and a big bowl for the salad.
Tortellini Bruschetta Salad
1 package cheese tortellini
1 cup croutons
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large ripe juicy tomato (Heirloom if you can find it) roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
Fresh basil leaves, about a quarter cup sliced into strips, discard stems
Extra virgin olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Boil tortellini until tender but not mushy, drain and plunge into a large bowl of cool water to stop the cooking process, drain again.
While tortellini was cooking, prepare all the other ingredients: mince the garlic, chop the tomatoes, slice the basil.
Put everything together in the large bowl with the tortellini, drizzle with olive oil, mix gently so everything is well distributed, add sea salt and cracked pepper.
Allow people to add their own croutons (don’t incorporate into the salad because they will get mushy).
Optional: Parmesan cheese, vegan parmasan cheese substitute, or nutritional yeast for topping.