Monday, June 04, 2012

Belated Barbecue & Pasta Salad


Oh sorry!  Did we forget to invite you to our first BBQ of the year?  Geeeeze.  How rude.

And with all this food too?  We really could have used some help demolishing the burgers and corn and salsa and salad and watermelon.  Really. 

How could we have not invited you all?!  Next year I promise!


Since we were away frolicking in Ucluelet for Michael’s actual birthday we decided to plan a belated bday BBQ and invited his bigass family over to help us eat and celebrate!


The weather cooperated for the most part, we devoured copious amounts of deliciousness, and spent the afternoon watching the kids try to roll a tent around the back yard.  When the wind kicked in, the diehards stayed warm with Bailey’s coffees and the rest of us migrated indoors to stand at the kitchen counter to pick the strawberries and candied pecans out of the leftover salad.


I kinda, sorta, maybe never thought to pick up candles or sparklers for the Creamy Citrus Birthday Tart or mini Red Velvet cupcakes…but I’m pretty sure I’ve been forgiven for not wrangling 21 people to warble Happy Birthday in the afternoon rain.  :)

As an apology for not inviting you to hang out with us, here is a super easy, delicious and adaptable Pasta Salad recipe for you.  Originally based on the most popular menu item from the restaurant I worked at as a teenager, I’ve modified this a thousand times and it turns out yummy every time.


Cold Pasta Salad with Fresh Dill and Buttermilk Dressing

Yields 10 – 12 cups, plenty for the family BBQ


  • 1 box small pasta of choice (I prefer fusilli or rotini)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, bite sized
  • 2-3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red/yellow/orange pepper, diced (or green if you like them!)
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, small cubes
  • optional:  3-4 dill pickles, chopped small; fresh parsley; fresh greens
  • all measurements approximate, get creative!

Buttermilk Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (and extra for thinning if needed)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • large pinches of salt and fresh cracked pepper (to taste)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta a little less than package directions.  Do not overcook! 
  2. For the last minute of cooking, add the broccoli and carrots to the pot.  Drain and immediately run pasta and veggies under cold water, tossing to cool.  Drain well.  Refrigerate.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking buttermilk, sour cream, Dijon and salt and pepper together until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Once the pasta has cooled, toss with remaining vegetables (except fresh parsley or greens if using).  Refrigerate until about 30 minutes before ready to serve.
  5. When ready to serve, carefully toss pasta mixture with dressing.  Add fresh greens if using, and cheese cubes and toss again.  Transfer to serving dish and garnish with extra fresh dill and sprinkle of salt.


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1 comment:

Kelly said...

Mmmm that all looks ridiculously yummy! I love the way the cupcakes are frosted! I'm going to have to steal that for my next batch of cupcakes!