It’s cookout season. Everyone has a recipe for macaroni salad. Some recipes are better than others. I’ve sampled a wide range of salads. Everything from a macaroni salad dressed with bottled Italian dressing to one loaded with pepperoni and cheese. The norm seems to be pasta, celery, carrots, onions with a mayonnaise dressing.
My latest foray into the macaroni salad domaine involves a lot of vegetables, and a few simple store bought ingredients for the sauce. Marie’s Cole Slaw Dressing, apple cider vinegar, basil pesto, salt and pepper.
Proportions would depend on how much pasta you’re using as a base. Just toss warm pasta and whatever vegetables you have on hand with pesto. I opted for lightly cooked broccoli, radishes, sweet onion, and grape tomatoes, but artichoke hearts or fresh green beans or really anything would be fine. If you think about it, the pesto already has Parmesan cheese, nuts, and a little garlic ground into the mixture, so you’re starting with a flavor base.
Instead of mayonnaise, I decided to use Marie’s Cole Slaw Dressing from the fresh produce section. For a bottled dressing, it has a really good list of ingredients. I find it a bit sweet on its own, but thinned with a good amount of apple cider vinegar, it’s perfect. Check to see if you want to add some salt and pepper.
If you plan to let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, keep some extra sauce to add just before serving.