Classic Mac Salad

This is a simple, classic pasta salad recipe that is easy to make, and can be prepared up to one day in advance.  We find the flavors to be really fresh and spot on, but thought the salad was a little dry, especially after resting the recommend the hour, so I upped the mayonnaise by a half cup;  I also added a little diced carrot for additional color and a little sweetness.  The substation of lemon juice for the typical vinegar in this recipe is also nice, since it doesn’t over power the other flavors in the salad as much.

If you’re using this for Garbage Plates you could definitely leave out the parsley and also drop the eggs if you were so inclined.


Classic Macaroni Salad

Adapted from The New Best Recipes
Serves 8 to 10 
1 tablespoon salt for boiling pasta
1 pound elbow macaroni 
1 celery rib, minced
1 small carrot, minced (2 to 3 tablespoons)
1 small red onion, minced (2 to 3 tablespoons)
3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into small dice
1/4 cup minced sweet pickles*
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1-2 large lemons
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise  
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, and add salt.  Stir in macaroni and cook for 9-12 minutes.  This is not the time when you want to cook the pasta to al dente, it should be well cooked, and soft, but not mushy.  Drain and rinse pasta with cold water, until all the macaroni is cooled.  Let pasta drain in colander for several minutes, until the pasta is well drained.

Toss drained pasta with remaining ingredients.  Season liberally with salt and pepper to taste.  Refigerate for one hour so flavors begin to blend and salad chills down.  The can be prepared one day in advance.  I found that the longer the salad sat, the more moisture the pasta absorbed; not to worry, add in a few splashes of water and adjust to desired consistency.


* I subsitiuted drained sweet orgaic relish for the sweet pickles, since our store didn’t have any organic sweet pickles, and the standard sweet pickles in stock were all loaded with high fructose corn syrup.  

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