One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
Vegetables that are in season make great additions to this orzo salad. It's the perfect side dish for a picnic, it can easily be doubled for a crowd, or you can add grilled chicken to make it a filling entree. — Danielle Miller, Westfield, Indiana
I write a food column for our local newspaper, and I consider myself a pretty good judge of recipes. But I'll admit I was surprised by this one—I didn't think the usual ingredients would go together as well as they do. I enjoy all kinds of cooking, especially recipes with pork or pasta. —Connie Blommers, Pella, Iowa
I take this fresh-tasting, colorful salad to potluck dinners throughout the year, since everyone who tries it loves it. The pasta, garbanzo beans and pepperoni make it a nice hearty dish. —Agnes Bulkley, Hicksville, New York
Helen Lamb of Seymour, Missouri relates, "A light sweet dressing gives this colorful salad a 'can't resist' flavor. Everyone in my family enjoys it - even those who say they aren't usually fans of spinach."
The tangy dressing for this refreshing salad has the right sweet-tart balance to suit my taste—and others who try it agree! Orange sections are a pretty contrast to the greens, and the bacon adds a crisp accent.
Oswego, New York