Marty’s Memorial Day macaroni salad (recipe)
As a rule, I try to avoid getting recipes from chefs. This is not because I don’t want them — I do, I do! It is because inevitably they will either leave out an entire step in the process, assuming I, of course, know it (It is so obvious!) or they will use words like “chiffonade” (a fancy way to cut spinach), which leaves me excusing myself to the restroom so I can Google it on my phone.
I had to have Marty’s macaroni salad recipe however. Just had to. I didn’t care if he was once the chef for President Bush or considers The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and Seascapes in Kennebunkport, Maine, his culinary stomping grounds — I had to have it.
I grew up in Hawaii where the classic mac salad consisted of macaroni, lots of mayonnaise, salt and maybe two or three peas. I thought Marty was going to weep when he heard this.
Maybe that is why he was so forthcoming with this beauty of a recipe — he wanted to break the cycle of mac salad abuse. You’ll notice the ingredients for his balsamic dressing are ample, but you will be thankful to have a supply on hand in the summer salad months to come.
Marty’s Memorial Day macaroni salad
Mac salad ingredients
1 16-ounce pack elbow macaroni
1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini
1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomato
1 cup spinach, chopped
4 ounces salami or pepperoni, chopped
4 ounces ham, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pesto mayo dressing ingredients
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Marty’s balsamic vinaigrette ingredients
3 cups balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 cups olive oil
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
Salt and oil pasta water (amount of water per macaroni package directions) and bring to vigorous boil. Add macaroni and stir for the first minute. Then cook until al dente, strain well and let cool.
In large mixing bowl, combine all macaroni salad ingredients, adding the cooled pasta at the end. In small mixing bowl, combine pesto mayonnaise dressing ingredients. Pour this onto macaroni salad and mix thoroughly.
Now make balsamic vinaigrette by blending together, at medium speed, all Marty’s balsamic dressing ingredients, except the olive oil. Once the ingredients are blended, slowly add the olive oil, blending on lower speed.
Lastly, put your salad in potluck picnic-style serving dish. Drizzle with Marty’s balsamic and top with feta and green onions. Enjoy.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee home. She welcomes your favorite family recipes and the story behind them at firstname.lastname@example.org.