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I so badly wanted to call this Zorba the Swede salad, but didn’t know if anyone would get my (admittedly sad) joke. When I was putting this salad together, I started with the flavor profile of a Swedish shrimp salad I used to make as a sandwich filling, with salad shrimp, dill and cucumber. Somewhere on the way to completion, I got some garlic and Greek yogurt in there and the dressing took a happy, happy turn toward tzatziki. The end result is a light and fresh-tasting pasta salad occupying the space between Swedish and Greek in culinary-profile land. There is cultural harmony here and this will return to our table often. You’ll see in the picture that I was so worried about my husband liking it that I sprinkled the top with crumbled bacon; that gave it a nice saltiness and texture but is completely optional. I think he would have actually eaten it without– hallelujah! Usually the nose-wrinkling starts when I say “salad” “shrimp” and “lots of dill” together in the context of dinner. The best part? This was even better for lunch the next day! So, with or without bacon, my Zorba the Swede pasta salad is well worth your time and attention. Enjoy!

Pasta Salad with Shrimp & Cucumber

  • 1/2 lb. cooked pasta (I used rotini, you use what you like), at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. cooked salad shrimp, or chopped larger shrimp
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 T. fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 – 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

In a bowl large enough to hold the whole salad, whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt/sour cream, dill, garlic, mustard and vinegar/lemon juice. Add the shrimp and cucumber and toss to combine. Add in half the cooked pasta and mix, then the remaining pasta, salt and pepper to taste; mix until well-combined. Let your salad sit for at least 30 mins. before serving; you can make it ahead to serve the next day. Crumble the bacon over the top just before serving. Easy and delicious!