Pasta salad has always been one of my favorite picnic meals because it’s delicious, portable, and easy to serve. Plus the bow-tie noodles are totally cute. It also happens to be one of my favorite ways to use fresh dill and oregano straight from the garden. The robust punch of these herbs blended with a creamy base really carries the dressing all the way to flavor town, while the par-cooked vegetables provide the perfect amount of crunch. Throw in super-ripe cherry tomatoes to give the salad a juicy sweetness and beautiful pop of color. It’s the perfect crowd-pleaser to bring to any party or picnic.
Make the vegan dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, oregano, dill, lemon juice, vinegar, nutritional yeast, garlic, sugar, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
Make the pasta 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.
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.