summer dill pasta salad

I think the heat broke a little bit. It’s at least 3 degrees cooler than it was before. I’m thankful for the little things. I’m also thankful for this salad. Sure, I know what you’re thinking. It’s pasta salad, big whoop. Normally I steer clear of pasta salads on buffet tables since they’re usually laden with gloopy mayonnaise or bottled Italian dressing. No thank you. But this salad, this pasta salad, is perfect.

I attribute the perfectness of this salad to the fresh dill snipped from my garden. There’s enough of it to pack quite a punch and along with the fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, it makes for a delicious summer meal. Something easy enough to pack on a picnic or whip up for a quick weekday lunch. Leave it vegan or top it with some feta cheese, either way, it’s delicious.

On my last post I mentioned that I’d be away on holiday. My husband and I are flying off to Montreal, renting a car and driving around New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to camp, road-trip, couch-surf, and experience the lovely Maritimes. Got any tips for us? Leave a comment with any recommendations, as they’d be very much appreciated!

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31 comments to “summer dill pasta salad”

  1. 1
    Lori   August 3, 2009 at 9:38 am

    No tips here, but the salad looks delicious. Have a wonderful trip.

  2. 2
    Justine   August 3, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I like how this doesn't have mayo because I feel the same way about pasta salads (and I love gemelli pasta). Have fun on vacation- I've never been to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island, but I've heard they are beautiful. Enjoy and I hope you have good weather!

  3. 3
    CookiePie   August 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

    What a beautiful and delicious salad! LOVE that it's so fresh and not goopy. Hope you have a wonderful vacation!!

  4. 4
    OffTheHooks   August 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

    looks great- i have lots of dill in my garden right now that needs to be used, so this is perfect.

  5. 5
    Bijoux   August 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I love pasta salads any which way – even gloopy sometimes – haha. Have a wonderful trip and I look forward to reading all about it.

  6. 6
    alice   August 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I am eating this salad right now and it is both delicious and fantastic for eating through my pantry before I move at the end of the month (and when the thermometer in my vancity apt reads 30)!! My only little changes (pantry eating, after all…) are subbing in white wine vinegar for apple cider, and extra aged white cheddar for the feta.

  7. 7
    alice   August 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    and a shallot for the sweet onion (cheaper… i gots moving expenses…)

  8. 8
    Rich   August 3, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Looks delish! Have yourself a safe & wonderful vacation!

  9. 9
    kimberleyblue   August 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    i love pasta salads, i think they make the best kind of work lunches. i'm definitely going to have to be making this!

    enjoy your vacation – you're off to some beautiful places.

  10. 10
    kimberleyblue   August 3, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    oh, and are you planning on any sightseeing in montreal?

    i know of some GREAT restos here, if you're going to be around for a meal or two.

  11. 11
    Lori   August 3, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Maritime recommendations (okay. they're all Nova Scotia!):

    > Jost vineyards in Malagash
    > camping near Cheticamp in Cape Breton (there's a place that has fantastic clams just in Cheticamp)
    > Tor Bay beach, between Canso and Larry's River on the Eastern Shore
    > the Halifax Farmer's Market at Pier 21
    > Fish & Chips at the Old Triangle in Halifax
    > sushi at Hamachi House in Halifax

  12. 12
    Joanne   August 4, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I don't like mayo salads either…too gloopy. I recently rediscovered my love of feta…will have to try this!

  13. 13
    Anonymous   August 4, 2009 at 5:56 am

    I Love Feta and I love dill… I'll be picking up ingredients for this salad after work today.

    My recommendations are all New Brunswick :)
    Grand Falls Gorge
    Hopewell Cape Rocks
    Fundy National Park
    Fundy Drive (St. Martins)
    Parlee Beach in Shediac
    Lakeside Campground in Youngs Cove

    Enjoy your trip! I'm sure you'll meet some great Maritimers :)

  14. 14
    Judy's Nutrition   August 4, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Mmm this looks delicious. I love pasta and potato salads with dill – such a nice summery flavour.

  15. 15
    Dana   August 4, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I steer clear of gloppy pasta salads too. That one looks just wonderful. I can't wait to hear about your trip on your return. That part of Canada is on my travel wish list.

  16. 16
    Megan   August 4, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I live in Nova Scotia.

    -Definitely go around the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.
    -Sackville NB is a very cute little town with a cool waterfowl park and a great indie music festival every summer (already happened though).
    -There are lots of beaches on the Eastern Shore outside of Halifax (Lawrencetown, Clam Harbour, Rainbow Haven, etc).
    -A nice day trip from Halifax could be Peggy's Cove -> Chester -> Mahone Bay -> Lunenburg. If you do that, I'd also check out Blue Rocks. Just a tiny little spot, but very pretty.
    - Buy new potatoes and green beans from the side of the road in PEI.
    -If you find yourself near Truro NS, try to find the Brookfield Bakery (one highway exit south of Truro). It's cheap and wonderful. I'd recommend the baked beans, bread, and almond cookies.
    - Halifax Farmer's Market
    - ride the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry for a cheap harbour cruise
    - Emma's Eatery on Cow Bay Rd in Eastern Passage (10 minutes outside of Dartmouth) makes delicious fishcakes. Make sure you get salt cod, and order the chow to go with them.
    - John's Lunch in Dartmouth for fish and chips, or Harbour Fish and Fries in Musquodoboit Harbour

    Have fun!

  17. 17
    Amanda Nicole   August 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I love a good pasta salad. Happy travels :)

  18. 18
    Stephanie   August 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Ok, you've got a lot of recommendations for Nova Scotia. As a New Brunswicker currently based in the UK some of the things I miss the most about home are:

    - Kouchibouguac National Park
    - Farmer's maret in Moncton
    - Fried clams in Cap Pele

    I hope you have a wonderful time on holiday. I'm very envious!

  19. 19
    kickpleat   August 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks Lori!

    Justine, I'm hoping for great weather too! Thanks.

    CookiePie, the salad is so good and fresh.

    Ash, try it! It's wonderful with homegrown dill.

    Thanks Rich!

    Thanks Bijoux, a gloopy salad can be good on occasion!

    Yes, Kimberley, great work lunches! We will be doing some time in Montreal, so send me your tips!

    Alice, glad you enjoyed the salad, it's a good one.

    Lori thanks for all the tips!

    Enjoy with or without the feta, Joanne!

    Yay, thanks for the NB tips, anon!

    Judy, I always add dill to potato salads, but it really brightens up pasta salads too! Very summery.

    Thanks Dana, I'm excited and will report back.

    Megan thanks so much for all these tips! Definitely will come in handy.

    Thanks Amanda Nicole.

    Stephanie, good to have more NB recs! Thanks so much.

  20. 20
    Cynthia   August 5, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Hi there, Cynthia here and I work for Nova Scotia Tourism. We've got so much to see and do depending on your interest, camping, kayaking, cycling, surfing, whale watching, fishing for the outdoor type,vineyards and fabulous restaurants for the foodie, music and festivals for a good downeast time and lots of living breathing historical experiences as well. Would love to give you more info if you let me know your interests. You can email me at and also check out our website We also offer help with travel planning through our 1-800-565-0000. Love to give you lots of tips.

    Have a great maritime vacation!


  21. 21
    lyndsay   August 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    yum, i love how fragrant fresh dill is… this looks like a stellar salad jeannette! have an awesome time on your vacay too!

    lyndsay :)

  22. 22
    Brittany Noel   August 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    This looks like the best pasta salad ever. I can't wait to make it!

  23. 23
    Meg   August 6, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Oooo, that salad looks very tasty!

    I'm from Nova Scotia, and I've travelled a little bit around the Maritimes. Here are my suggestions.
    If you're in Saint John, check out the Reversing Falls. St. Andrews is a rather pretty little out that way as well. I'm going to second the Kouchibouguac rec.
    Anne of Green Gables' house. Cavendish is very pretty. Definitely go to a beach – Cavendish tends to be busy, but there are lots of smaller ones all over the island. Be sure to try Cows ice cream – so tasty (novelty t-shirt purchase is optional).
    The Annapolis Valley is beautiful. Wolfville is a very charming town with a great little outdoor farmer's market on Saturday mornings. Make sure you take the back roads and not the highway, as they are lots of pretty gardens and old houses. If you're heading that way, go whale watching on Digby Neck. August is the best time of year for it.
    If you're in Lunenburg, go to Magnolia's and order the key lime pie. It is by far the best I have ever had.
    There's a whole lot to do in Halifax: visit for event listings (Busker Fest from August 6th-16th), ideas for ways to spend your time (I recommend the Natural History Museum), and restaurant reviews (the toasted ham hero at Salvatore's is one of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten).

    Have a great trip!

  24. 24
    Kristina   August 6, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Sounds great! Last night I was all obsessed with putting tomatoes and cucumbers together with basil, I hadn't thought to try dill. There will be a next time.

    Sweetfern Handmade

  25. 25
    hag   August 6, 2009 at 9:51 am

    You ahve inspired me to try pasta salad again! I have decided that August is my month of salads! Maybe I will be ispired to start blogging again. Thanks for the pasta salad recipe. Oh, I am jealous of your trip sounds perfect…I have never been to the maritimes…but I have been to Montreal. You must visit the Jean-Talon market I went in Feburary and it was great…I can't imagine what wonderful things are there in the summer! Also in Montreal is a cafe called Olive et Gourmando at 351 St. Paul Street West….Yumm! Enjoy your time away.

  26. 26
    laura   August 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Mmm, nothing beats the heat like cold pasta & dill.

  27. 27
    Karine   August 7, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    This salad looks great! I love dill: it has such an unique flavor!

  28. 28
    Susan from Food Blogga   August 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Ah, yes. Fresh dill from the garden can transform a dish. This must have been delightful.

  29. 29
    eatme_delicious   August 9, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I'm sooo happy the weather has finally cooled down!! It was even raining today. I love pasta salad – this one looks yummy! Love your choice of pasta to use too.

  30. 30
    chocolatecoffeekitchen   August 12, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Are you still travelling? I'm from Halifax and if you're going to be in NS you should check out Peggy's Cove and Blomodin park on the Fundy coast. The tides go out soo far, it's so beautiful there.

  31. 31
    Mrs. L   August 13, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I love pasta salad when it has a bit of dill in it. This sounds perfect.

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