Macaroni Salad is always a favorite to complement summer barbeques and is much easier to prepare than potato salad. One of my concerns with this salad in the past has been that it sometimes tastes dried out. I recently purchased a cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen which offers an excellent tip on preparing this salad. You keep the macaroni moist by not draining it completely and letting it sit in a bit of water before you mix it with the other ingredients. The result is a creamy macaroni salad every time!
We liked this salad so much that I’ve made it twice in the past 2 weeks. Delicious!
Cool and Creamy Macaroni Salad
From America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
Don’t drain the macaroni too well before adding the other ingredients – a little extra moisture will keep it from drying out.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- ½ small red onion, minced
- 2-3 celery ribs, chopped
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves or cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
- Pepper and Salt to taste
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta into the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water until cool, then drain briefly so that the macaroni remains moist. Transfer to a large bowl.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and let sit for 5-10 minutes. If made ahead of time, refrigerate and stir again before serving.