Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dill Pasta Salad with Feta, Olives and Caramelized Onions

There's something beautiful about the passage of time.

When I moved to Brooklyn five years ago, I felt alone, despite living in one of the most crowded cities in the country. Even though two of my dearest friends had also moved to the city, I saw strangers everywhere I went.

Sure, there were people to have a drink with after work. People to meet at the free movies over the summer.

But true friends, those take longer to make. Friends where it doesn't really matter where you are or what you're doing, as long as you're doing it together.

Five years into my time here, I feel surrounded by people I love and confident the time it takes to make friends is always worth the investment.

I feel lucky to have friends who call me when they end up in the emergency room and friends I can call when I'm too sick to leave my apartment.

I spent the past week with two of those friends, tucked away in a little cabin in the woods away from email, Facebook, Hulu and Pinterest.

Without them, I wouldn't know about this incredible pasta salad. We had it at least three times, and I loved it enough to make it again immediately when I returned home. With the fresh dill I picked up from the most delightful farm stand.

The pasta feels remarkably light and fresh. It's covered with chopped dill. The kalamata olives and feta add a nice saltiness, and the caramelized onions contribute just the right bit of sweetness to the dish.

Last night, I served this pasta to two more of those friends. We brought the dinner to a local bar--picnic style--because it was too hot to even think about eating in my poorly ventilated kitchen.

It was delicious.

Dill Pasta Salad with Feta, Olives and Caramelized Onions

This recipe serves at least 6 for dinner, and it can be easily doubled. It keeps remarkably well.

1 lb. pasta, your favorite shape (I used farfalle because that's what I had)
1 bunch fresh dill
1/2 cup kalmata olives, pitted and finely diced
1 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
4 ounces feta cheese (I used a sheep's milk feta)
4 large onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the four large onions. Add the onions to a saucepan set over medium heat, and add the butter and two tablespoons olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about one hour, stirring regularly, until onions are slightly brown and caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the onions cook, heat a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil, add the pasta, and prepare the pasta according to the package's directions.

Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Remove the stems from the dill. Finely mince about half the dill, and add it to the cooked pasta. Stir well, adding about two tablespoons of olive oil to help the dill cling to the pasta.

Add caramelized onions, chopped olives, crumbled feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette to the pasta. Stir well, and taste. Add more dill, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or cold.


  1. that is one delicious meal. i love to try it... going to get feta cheese, hard to find it here...

    1. I bet you could be creative with the cheese. Maybe a goat cheese, or a havarti cheese? I could even imagine ricotta being a good substitute, although it wouldn't have that tangy taste then. Good luck finding it!

  2. True friends are definitely one of the most important things in life. The pasta looks amazing!