Hawaiian Tortellini Salad

Hawaiian Tortellini Salad

Back in the late ‘50’s, when Hawaii was celebrating its new statehood, everything on the mainland was palm trees, tiki lanterns, plastic flower leis, ukuleles, grass skirts if you were really daring, and luaus.  “Everything” included food—pineapple (canned of course, it was the ‘50’s!), ham (not Spam, the island favorite), coconut with a straw, and fruit and rum drinks.  Even macaroni salad at the barbecue took on a Hawaiian flavor.  So not to go too far backwards, here’s a colorful, sweet updated version of that ‘50’s picnic favorite—just in time for Labor Day weekend.  For an even more updated version, thinly slice peppers and caramelize them gently in a little olive oil for about 10 min—add 1 tsp sugar for the last few minutes.

  • 16-20 oz cheese tortellini, cooked and cooled
  • 2 yellow or orange peppers, cut into ½” pcs–if sliced and caramelized, cool before using
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ English cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • 1 to 1½ cups chopped tomatoes—peeled, seeds and liquid removed
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, reserve juice
  • 2 cups ham, cut into ½” pcs

Dressing:  Mix ½ cup mayo, ½ cup sour cream, 1 tblsp light brown sugar, 1 tblsp Dijon mustard, black pepper and grated garlic and ginger to taste.  Add enough reserved juice to make a thick, pourable dressing.

Mix salad ingredients and chill.  Just before serving, add ½ the dressing and toss gently.  Pass the remaining dressing.  A dollop of Wasabi on the plate would kick it up a bit more!

 

The Kitchen Hive

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