NORTHWOOD COOKS: Welcome spring with garden salads

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Tortellini with grilled cherry tomatoes, broccoli, red bell pepp
A tortellini salad can be customized with whatever vegetables are on hand. This version featured grilled cherry tomatoes, broccoli and red bell peppers.
Adobe Stock

The first day of spring arrives on Monday.

Although all of the snow still makes it look and feel like winter here in the northwoods, one way to bring a taste of spring to the dinner table is by including a savory salad.

Here are two to sample from”Our 20 Best Spring Salad Recipes” on

Tortellini Salad

1 lb. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini, preferably whole-wheat


1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (not packed in oil)

14-oz. can artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered

7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

4 scallions, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil

1 oz. prosciutto, trimmed and julienned (optional)

1/8 tsp. salt


Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Arugula, for serving (optional)

Tomato Vinaigrette:

2 ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded

2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 clove garlic, minced


1/8 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini until just tender, 8 to 12 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with more boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the tortellini along with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, scallions, basil and prosciutto, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

To prepare Tomato Vinaigrette: Working over a bowl, rub tomato halves on the large-holed side of a box grater until only the skins remain. Discard the skins. Add vinegar, oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper to the tomato juice and whisk until blended. Add the Tomato Vinaigrette to the tortellini salad and toss. Serve the salad on a bed of arugula, if desired.

Broccoli and Grape Salad

3-1/2 cups very small broccoli florets


1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1-1/2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1-1/2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1 cup halved seedless red grapes


1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and onion and cook until the broccoli is bright green and tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain; plunge the vegetables into the ice water. Let stand until chilled, about 2 minutes. Drain and pat very dry.

Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Fold in the broccoli mixture, grapes and almonds. Serve immediately.

To make ahead: Refrigerate salad and dressing separately in airtight containers for up to 1 day. Toss together just before serving.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Get Local