Especially during the holidays, it seems that we're all looking for simple, no-fuss appetizers that go over well with a crowd and can even travel easily. This Cheese Tortellini Party Appetizer totally meets the criteria. Kids and adults alike enjoy these. And, they work great when you have a vegetarian in the mix. They can be served cold or at room temp. And, the sky is kinda the limit with regards to what you'd like to include. I like a mix of cheese chunks, olives and tomatoes with the tortellini.
Store-bought cheese tortellini (frozen or refrigerated) is used in this recipe. Just follow the package instructions regarding cooking. Be sure not to overcook them or they will fall apart when you try to skewer them. And, be sure to rinse them thoroughly under cold water after boiling to stop the cooking process immediately.
I dress my skewers with a good-quality bottled Italian-style vinaigrette. Of course, you could make something similar from scratch if you prefer. But, taking some help from the supermarket during the hectic holidays is a real timesaver.
1 18 - 20 oz. package frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 5 - 6 oz. can black olives, drained
1 6 - 7 oz. jar pimento-stuffed green olives, drained
8 ounces chunk cheese, cut into small cubes (I like a combination of cheddar and mozzarella)
8 - 10 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup good-quality Italian-style vinaigrette dressing
Sliced scallions or chopped, fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Do not overcook. Run under cold water to cool completely while straining. Set aside.
Assemble appetizers by skewering tortellini, olives, cheese and tomatoes as desired at the pointed end of wooden skewers. Leave adequate room at the opposite end of the skewers for handling at time of service. Lay prepared skewers out onto a large baking sheet as you work. Once finished, drizzle half of the dressing/vinaigrette over prepared skewers. If not serving immediately, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Store in refrigerator.
At time of service, arrange skewers on a large platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing/vinaigrette. Sprinkle with scallions or herbs.
Skewers can be served cold or at room temperature.
NOTE: Excellent served with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.