Picnic Pasta Salad

Oregano dill dressing

1 1/2 cups vegan mayo
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 garlic clove, minced (use a garlic press or Microplane)
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
Dash cayenne pepper

Salad

1 pound bow-tie or squiggly pasta
3 cups bite-size pieces Broccolini (about 1 bunch)
2 cups bite-size pieces peeled carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup high-quality pitted green olives, sliced
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Chopped fresh oregano and dill, for garnish

Directions

1. Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, oregano, dill, lemon juice, vinegar, nutritional yeast, garlic, sugar, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

2. Make the salad: Fill a large bowl with ice and a little water to make an ice bath. This is to shock the vegetables, locking in their color and retaining their crunch, while also cooling down the pasta for the dressing.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 7 minutes. Try a piece. When it feels close to being done, needing about 1 more minute, toss in the Broccolini, carrots, and peas. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, until the pasta is done. Drain and transfer to the ice bath.

4. Once cooled, transfer the pasta/vegetables back to the colander and drain thoroughly. Excess water will dilute the dressing, which is a no-go, people.

5. In a large bowl, toss together the dressing, drained pasta/ vegetable mixture, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, and olives. Mix well. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with the fresh dill and oregano. Serve.

Tip:

You can make this pasta salad the day before (or even two days before), as it keeps well in the fridge. Some might say it’s even better the next day. For serving at a picnic, try using Chinese-food takeout containers and chopsticks.

Reprinted from Mississippi Vegan by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2018, Timothy Pakron.

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