San Francisco had classic, warm weather over the weekend. Blue skies. Birds chirping. People running around half naked (when the sun shines here people seem to lose their clothes).  Perfect weekend to get our grill on. We had some friends who decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather, by hosting the first grill-out of the season, complete with burgers, dogs, and lots of cold beer. No grill-out is complete without the honorary classic macaroni salad.

Classic Macaroni Salad


In all honesty, I have to say, I have not had macaroni salad since I was a kid. Okay, I have nibbled here and there, but usually, I turn my nose up at it. Most often, macaroni salad is gooey, way too creamy, over sweet, and has too many hard-boiled eggs. I wanted my recipe to be light, and flavorful.  After doing some research, I came to the conclusion, that our salad would not be the typical classic macaroni salad; it was not going to have sugar, over processed yellow mustard, no carrot slivers, no sweet pickles, and no hard-boiled eggs.  I am not a hater of these things;  I just don’t believe they belong in macaroni salad.  For the record, I am a hater of over-processed yellow mustard;  Lenny is not.  We are both haters of generic sweet pickles – YUCK!

This Chez Us classic macaroni salad is light, flavorful, and creamy.  The creamy part of this dressing is made with mayo, Dijon mustard, and sherry vinegar.  I use an organic, canola oil based mayo, that is naturally sweet, as well the sherry vinegar is slightly sweet;  no need to add more sugar to this recipe.  I seasoned the base with fresh green garlic, red onion, fresh dill, and zesty Paulie’s Pickling pickles.  I don’t normally dig pickles, but am LOVING these.  Zippy.  Zesty.  Crunchy.  Perfect addition to our macaroni salad.   For some extra crunch, I tossed in some diced celery.

Do you have a favorite way to make a “classic macaroni salad”?

Recipe:  Classic Macaroni Salad

What you need:

  • 8 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cup mayo
  • 3 tablespoon Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dill, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 half of a large pickle, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • sprinkle of paprika

How To:

Cook the macaroni according to package directions.  Do not overcook.  You want the macaroni to be al dente, not mushy.

While the macaroni is cooking, soak the red onions in cold water, for 15 minutes.  Drain the onions, then wrap in a flour-sack towel, or paper towel, to dry.

In a large serving bowl, add the mayo, dijon, and vinegar;  whisk until smooth.

Add the onion, pickle, dill, and celery;  stir until mixed.

Fold in the macaroni.

Chill for at least an hour.



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