Heather Berryhill shares a recipe for a Tortellini Basil Salad.
1-1/2 cups packaged basil leaves (1-1/2 oz), divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more for water
13 oz fresh asparagus, woody ends removed
2, 9-oz pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 tsp. lemon zest plus 2 tbsp fresh juice, divided (from 1 lemon)
3/4 cup sliced shallots (from 2 shallots)
4 oz watercress or arugula, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add 1 cup basil leaves to boiling water; cook for 30 seconds. Drain; plunge basil into ice water and let stand for 1 minute. Remove basil, squeeze out excess liquid, and transfer to a blender. Add half a cup of oil and a half a teaspoon salt to basil in blender; process until smooth, 15 to 30 seconds. Let stand for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard solids.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high. Add asparagus; cook until crisp–tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board using tongs. Add tortellini to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in lemon zest and half of basil oil (about 1/4 cup). Let pasta mixture cool, tossing occasionally, until room temperature, about 30 minutes.
While pasta cools, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until shallots are crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Toss watercress or arugula and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a bowl; arrange on a platter. Chop asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add to pasta in bowl. Add pepper, remaining basil oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice; top with shallots and remaining 1/2 cup basil leaves
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour, 10 minutes