We mixed the tortellini, onions, and celery ahead of time with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. In the morning, we scoop out a portion for lunch and pile the greens loosely on top so they don't get too wilted. We slice up the apple just before eating and toss everything together.
We've done other variations with regular pasta, feta or blue cheese crumbles, and whatever vegetables we're in the mood for. Instead of balsamic and olive oil, we sometimes bind the pasta with a little yogurt, mayo, or creamy goat cheese. Sometimes we toss in toasted nuts for their texture and flavor, and apples or berries are a tart counterpoint.
We usually eat this as a cold salad, but if we nix the greens, we can also eat it warm. Either way, this lunch really hits the spot and gets us through the rest of our day!
What would you prepare with this template?
(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)