This is the macaroni salad of my dreams. The most wonderful blend of crunchy and a tad tart, it’s the style I’d always thought of as “real” macaroni salad. I stumbled upon a version like this several years ago at a local restaurant…and I just knew from looking at it on their salad bar that not only was it homemade…but it was homemade the way I like it. I dissected it and quizzed the owner…and while the proportions are mine, it tastes just like theirs did.
Like many things, I have a definite opinion about macaroni salad. To me, there should be nothing sweet about it, so that rules out sweet pickles and salad dressing.
And while I’m on the whole issue of salad dressing (Miracle Whip being what comes to mind), that stuff is just nasty
sorry to any of you who love it. It’s so sweet and icky. And for some reason, it’s what manufacturers use in all the pre-made deli potato and macaroni salads. I give the stink eye to that mess. If I’m makin’ potato salad or macaroni salad, you can bet your britches I’m using mayonnaise (Dukes) to make it.
Also, sweet pickle relish…blech. I don’t want sweet pickle relish in my salads. It’s dill salad cubes, dill pickle relish, or chopped up dill pickles…it doesn’t matter, but it’s dill…not sweet.
No fancy mustards either, just plain ol’ yellow prepared mustard is all that goes in this salad. It gives it that mustard potato salad flavor that is just a tad tart perfection.
I made a huge bowl of this macaroni salad…and I can’t wait to dig in! It will be on our table tonight and tomorrow too…and likely for lunches all week. And I’ll feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.
- ½ pound macaroni (I can’t find macaroni and cheese style straight macaroni any more…so I used miniature penne), cooked al dente, drained and chilled *
- 1 cup celery, diced
- ½ small onion (about ½ cup), minced
- ½ cup dill pickle relish (or mince some dill pickles, or use dill salad cubes)
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
- 1 scant tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- fresh cracked pepper…a couple of turns of the grinder
- Place all the ingredients (be sure to chill the macaroni) in a large bowl.
- Stir to mix well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.