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
When I served this as a main course for a luncheon with friends, everyone asked for the recipe. Occasionally I'll garnish the salad with toasted walnut halves instead of tomatoes to give it some crunch.
"CAN YOU BELIEVE that a blend of vinegar and garlic can be strong but subtle, too? That's the best way to describe this recipe.
"I love garlic, so I use a lot of it in this recipe. Luckily, my family likes it, too! And just like my aunt, who had an extensive vegetable/herb garden, we use quite a few of our own homegrown vegetables for this medley. For some reason, they just make this dish taste so much better."
The succulent salad shared by Marian Platt of Sequim, Washington was so striking in taste and appearance that our home economists couldn't help but find a fun way to display it—by fashioning edible baskets made from potatoes! (Keep in mind that the baskets can be used for other salads—like chicken or tuna—too.)
Not only is her salad's fresh flavor great—making it is a lot like putting in a garden, tells subscriber Patty Kile of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. "That's because I 'plant' everything in nice,neat sections," she explains, "just like I do in my vegetable garden."
Perk up simple spinach with bacon, cheese and lively dressing that Myra Innes of Auburn, Kansas created. "The lemon juice in the dressing adds just the right zing," she says.—Myra Innes, Auburn, Kansas
From Yakima, Washington reader Sandra Rohrich comes this hearty salad, which she reveals works well as either a side or main dish. "I've used it both ways myself. What I like best about it, though, is that it's so quick to make," she comments. "My husband and children, on the other hand, tell me they love it because it tastes so good!"—Sandra Rohrich, Yakima, Washington
There's real festive flair in this recipe. The pasta that Kay Odegard of Chicago, Illinois adds gives her spinach salad a heartiness most others lack—something she says folks in her neighborhood appreciate.—Kay Odegard, Chicago, Illinois