Mom's Macaroni Salad
by Kate Heyhoe
This recipe uses the three key techniques for making delicious pasta salads:
1) use plenty of salt in the cooking water;
2) add the dressing while the pasta is still warm;
3) refresh the flavors after chilling.
Finally, you may be tempted to substitute fake mayonnaises (things known as "salad dressing" or no-fat mayo) but in the interest of good taste, I hope you use the full-flavored real thing. Otherwise, it just won't taste the way mom made it.
8 ounces elbow macaroni or other salad-size pasta
about 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more as needed to refresh
1/3 cup minced onion
2/3 cup diced bell pepper
(small dice, about the size of corn kernels)
3/4 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese,
about 4 ounces (small dice, about the size of corn kernels)
1-1/2 cups yellow corn kernels (see Corn Note)
For canned corn, rinse and drain a 15-1/4 ounce can. If using fresh or frozen corn kernels, lightly cook them just until tender.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, about 4 quarts. Stir in about 2 teaspoons salt. When the water returns a boil, add the pasta and cook till al dente.
Time Saving Tip:
While the water and pasta are heating, chop the vegetables and cheese.
Drain the pasta. When the pasta has briefly drained but is still steaming hot, put pasta in large mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2/3 cup mayonnaise, and the minced onion. Reserve the remaining lemon juice. Mix thoroughly. Add the bell pepper, cheese and corn. Mix again, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and refrigerate. Just prior to serving, taste the salad—it will have absorbed the dressing and will need to be moistened and refreshed with the reserved lemon juice, a bit more mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste.
Add a small amount of fresh or dried dillweed, or garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley.
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Copyright © 2000, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created July 2000