To make this simple summer side dish, blend vinegar, fresh dill, shallot, olive oil, and capers while the pasta cooks. Toss the pasta and dressing together with cucumber, chickpeas, and crumbled feta cheese, and serve alongside grilled salmon or chicken. Or to make the salad a complete meal, add 7 ounces of either tuna, flaked smoked trout, or shredded chicken for a light lunch or dinner.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1 pound short pasta, such as gemelli or fusilli
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium English cucumber (about 1 pound), medium dice
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, make the dressing.
- Place the dill, vinegar, shallot, and measured salt and pepper in a blender. Blend on high until evenly combined, about 15 seconds. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the pitcher with a rubber spatula. Return the blender to high speed, remove the small cap from the lid (the pour lid), and slowly drizzle in the oil. Turn off the blender, add the capers, and pulse until they’re coarsely chopped, about 5 (1-second) pulses; set the dressing aside in the blender.
- Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions. Drain and then rinse it under cold water until cool. Drain any excess water from the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.
- Add the chickpeas, cucumber, feta, parsley, and reserved dressing (and tuna, trout, or chicken, if using) and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve chilled or at room temperature.