Mediterranean night with a bit o’ homestyle thrown in

Some of you have been asking for updates as to how our night having Husband’s foodie relatives over went. It was fabulous! I decided to go with an Italian a Mediterranean theme (because my friend pointed out so kindly that Italy is SURROUNDED by the Mediterranean. so. there.), except for dessert. Because I had rhubarb on hand, and I can’t say that it’s Mediterranean. Did I mention Husband’s aunt is vegetarian? So we made all vegetarian stuff, but non-vegetarians wouldn’t have even noticed. By God’s grace, it turned out that good!

We had these fabulously amazing veggie paninis. I found them through Randi’s Recipe Box Swap. Seriously, you must make them. You will not be sorry.

We also had a fabulous little dish I’ve made several times (these photos are from a previous time and show that I did not have yellow peppers on hand at the moment…they also do not illustrate my photographic abilities with my flashy point-and-shoot…please do not judge), Tortellini-Asparagus Salad, straight from my Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. Again, YUM. Here’s the cast of characters and a shot of me stirring in the nuts and cheese and stuff at the end, because I’m too embarrassed to show all the even-less-nice ones from the process. But it TASTES good, and that’s what matters.



Tortellini-Asparagus Salad
Better Homes and Gardens
Yields: 10 side-dish servings


  • 2 9-ounce packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears (about 16 spears) trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds, toasted


  1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook tortellini according to package directions, adding asparagus and sweet pepper during the last minute of cooking; drain. Rinse tortellini and vegetables with cold water; drain again.
  2. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine lemon peel, lemon juice, oil, mustard, sugar, salt, and garlic. Cover and shake well.
  3. In a very large bowl place tortellini and vegetables. Add dressing; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 8 hours. Just before serving, stir in cheese, green onions, and nuts. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

We served all that up with a side of fresh berries (rasp-, blue-, and straw-) and cantaloupe, some wine and lemonades (yes, two kinds) and finished later with Rhubarb Crunch, the single best rhubarb item I have ever eaten.

Thanks for caring how it went, friends! I’d love to hear about your exploits in the kitchen; feel free to leave a link in the comments if you’ve recently posted something yummy!


6 thoughts on “Mediterranean night with a bit o’ homestyle thrown in

  1. Pingback: Meal Planning – Seasonal Suggestions « Minnesota Mom

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