This delicious broccoli salad is perfect for Springtime dining and with the addition of cheese filled tortellini, it can be a light lunch or dinner main course as well as a great side salad. This can also be made the night before, but I do like to leave the bacon out until I serve. I just like the bacon to remain crisp. This recipe is perfect to take to pot lucks or for large family gatherings, because it does make a lot of salad. If you are cooking for a smaller family, you can easily just cut this recipe in half. Here is what you will need for this:
1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
20 oz. tortellini, cooked according to package direction and then drained and rinsed under cold water (can use fresh or frozen and the tri -color is pretty)
2 heads fresh broccoli, stems removed and the florets cut in bite size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries (can use raisins)
1 cup sunflower seeds
4 green onions, chopped including some of the green blades
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs. cider vinegar (white will work also)
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli florets, cranberries or raisins, sunflower seeds, green onions and tortellini.
In a smaller bowl mix the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour over the broccoli mixture and combine well.
I like to chill this for about an hour before serving, but you can serve immediately. Right before serving, mix 2/3 of the bacon into the salad and sprinkle 1/3 on top. This holds up well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator if you do have leftovers.
Tortellini and Broccoli Harvest Salad!