Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crawfish Tortellini Salad

Who said crawfish and collard greens don't mix? This salad from The Collard Patch will prove otherwise. When we cooked this and featured it on KTVE news, the staff had trouble giving the news that day because they kept sneaking over to get a little more of this while they were trying to give the news, weather, and sports.

Crawfish Tortellini Salad
½ cup thinly sliced green onions with tops
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup small fresh mushrooms
1 cup large pitted ripe olives
1 cup fresh red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
12 ounces frozen crawfish tails
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon Splenda®
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt substitute to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 cup seedless golden raisins
1 package (14 ounces) cheese tortellini
4 ounces (¼ cup) feta cheese
4 cups tender baby collard leaves, chopped
4 cups Romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces

Place the first 6 ingredients in a big bowl.

Place ¾ cup olive oil in the blender. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and all the remaining powdered seasonings. Blend until it is well mixed. Stir in the parsley and basil.

Pour the blended dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and marinate them covered at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Sauté the crawfish in ¼ cup olive oil and Cajun seasoning about 5-7 minutes. Even though there will be other seasoning mixed with the tortellini, each individual crawfish needs its own spiciness.

You don’t want those crawfish to get lonesome. After you sauté them long enough to catch the seasoning, set them aside to cool.

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Cook it al dente. Drain it in the colander and allow it to cool.

Toss the crawfish, tortellini, and raisins with the vegetable mixture.

When you serve the salad, place it over the greens. Garnish it with feta cheese.

Cooking Tips
Instead of crawfish, substitute 1 of the following:
3 cups white chicken meat, cooked and chopped
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
If the feta cheese is a block, cube it.
Cubed ham would be tasty too.

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