Pasta Salad with Fresh Dill

This is the IDEAL summer picnic or potluck recipe – it makes a ton of food, and there’s no mayo in it – so less chance of spoilage as it heats up outside! I was looking for a great way to use fresh dill, as our herb garden has been producing TONS of fresh dill, sweet basil, purple basil, mint, and cilantro. (That’s not a complaint, mind you – I’m loving the access to fresh herbs!) Anyway, I was inspired by this recipe from the Minimalist Baker to make a pasta salad. I made a few tweaks to suit my tastes and to utilize the ingredients I had on hand. Let me tell you – the dressing is divine!

Ingredients:

Pasta salad:

  • 1 16 oz. box of pasta – I used 365 brand whole wheat shells from Whole Foods
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 can of organic green peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped fine

Dressing:

  • 1 aseptic package of firm silken tofu
  • 3-4 tablespoons of agave nectar or cane sugar (or a combination of the two)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

(*Note: I did not measure the dressing ingredients precisely. These are estimates – I tend to mix the dressing, taste, tweak, and repeat! Adjust to your liking.)

Preparation:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the veggies and put them + the dill in a large glass or stainless steel bowl.
  3. Put all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined. (Taste and adjust, if needed!)
  4. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
  5. Add the pasta to the veggies in the bowl, and add dressing.
  6. Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  7. Enjoy! This is tasty at room temperature, but it gets even better once it is chilled and the flavors meld.