Friday, September 2, 2011

Classic Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

A classic, old fashioned macaroni salad, made with elbow macaroni, sweet onion, celery, chopped pickles, and pimento - simple, the kind that grandma used to make.
A classic, old fashioned macaroni salad, made with elbow macaroni, sweet onion, celery, chopped pickles, and pimento - simple, the kind that grandma used to make.

Classic Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

Before there were pasta salads filled with all sorts of yummy goodies, there was the humble macaroni salad. Usually a very simple concoction containing elbow macaroni, a little celery, most always pickles and pimentos here in the south, and sometimes onion, it's dressed usually with a very classic mayonnaise dressing.

I love adding in pickle juice - usually some kind of bread and butter pickle since that is what I have on hand the most. Of course I save pickle juice, don't you? A tablespoon or two will brighten up pretty much any pasta salad, or things like tuna and egg salad where you typically add in pickles anyway, but I love this old fashioned macaroni salad with a little bit more juice added in myself.

It's the classic macaroni salad our grandma's made - though you can certainly add in whatever you like - and perfect for cookouts, church socials and potluck suppers. For more substance, toss in some cooked chicken, cubed ham, small, cooked shrimp, or well drained tuna.

Here's how to make it.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of pickle juice - or you can use your favorite vinegar - the granulated sugar, Creole mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Set that aside.


Cook pasta in well salted, boiling water until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse and I like to drizzle it with olive oil. A reader once asked me why I do that and I'm not even sure when or why I started to be honest. It adds some flavor, maybe a little benefit from the oil too, but it also keeps it from being overly sticky too. Add the macaroni to the serving bowl on top of the dressing while it's still warm.


Top with the onion and celery.


Add the pimentos, pickles and the extra 1/4 cup of pickle juice, if using; toss.


Taste, add salt and pepper, taste and adjust as needed.


Refrigerate before serving for at least 2 hours, or overnight, if possible; toss again before serving, stirring in additional mayonnaise, pickle juice, or both, if more moisture is needed.


See more of my favorite macaroni and pasta salads on Pinterest!



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Posted by on September 02, 2011
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