Not Another Macaroni Salad, You Say! January 10, 2010

Now that I’ve been blogging about food for nearly seven months, it comes more naturally.  The inspiration hasn’t diminished and I’m an eager beaver when it comes to sharing recipes.  But this is one post where I hesitated because an inner voice kept taunting me, “oh c’mon, you’re not going to blog about macaroni salad – who’s going to spend five minutes reading about macaroni salad, of all things?”

But I like macaroni salad! 

macaroni retouched

Just for fun, I did some research:

On Google, I typed “macaroni salad” and I got 849,000 results.

On Yahoo, I typed the same search words and got 7,070,000; on Live Search, I got 767,000.  Why Yahoo had 7 million is bewildering, but okay, I admit, macaroni salad is as common as a citizen with no blue blood.

Still, let me say this.  There are recipes you try and your reaction can be…

  • it’s good, I’ll probably make it again.
  • it’s very good, I’ll definitely make it again.
  • it’s excellent, wow, I’ll invite friends over and impress them!
  • ah…er… it’s so-so; nothing to write home about.

How does my macaroni salad rate?  I’d give it the second one – “it’s very good, I’ll definitely make it again.”

You have macaroni salads made with chicken, celery, carrots, mayo or sour cream, and we say, alright, that’s a typical recipe.  You have macaroni salad made with hard-boiled eggs, cheese, peas and carrots, and again we say, yes, that’s a typical recipe.

But if you dare leave the beaten path and throw in special ingredients, you come up with an exquisite macaroni salad with:

  • bite size chicken pieces
  • purple onion
  • carrots and celery
  • sour cream
  • mayonnaise
  • parmesan cheese
  • parsley

and this special oil!

oilo al basilicoolio2          

My good friend Margaret and her hubby Al from Toronto dropped by during the holidays and they gave me this delicately delicious oil which I hid at the back of my cupboard – just to keep my brother’s hands away from it.  He likes tinkering about my kitchen and looking for unopened tins and bottles and then persuading me to let him do a taste test.  I’ve decided this oil will be used only for extra-special recipes. 

I’ll accept the fact that macaroni salad is ordinary enough, but when I put a few drops of this Cazzetta oil (it’s been around since 1899 – don’t know if you can read the date on the picture at the right), my macaroni salad gets elevated to a 5-star rating! 

Try to flex your taste buds and imagine the combined flavors of sour cream and mayo, finely chopped purple onions, parmesan cheese and this olio al basilico.

Magnifico, no?  I won’t post the recipe because there are 849,000 recipes on Google – but if you’re convinced that it’s worth a try, e-mail me at and I’ll gladly share the recipe…that is, before Rachel Ray or the White House chef tells me NOT to share it.

Kidding aside, I liked this oil and I believe it’s made with the best basil herbs of Italy.  I have to ask Margaret where she bought it.  I hope that when I run out, I can buy another bottle here in Montreal so I’ll have a steady supply.

macaroni with salad

My brother and I devoured the macaroni salad yesterday, Saturday.  I served it with green salad.  For dessert, we had mouth-watering slices of chocolate cake with extra helpings of leftover Betty Crocker icing.  Tsk…tsk…

A thought just flashed.  You can make this macaroni salad without the sour cream and mayo if you’re more into the Mediterranean type of pasta salads – that is, with generous drizzles of wonderful olive oil and Italian balsamic vinegar.


3 Responses to “Not Another Macaroni Salad, You Say!”

  1. I was looking for your May 1 example of the drop_cap design but your post was not in your archives

  2. Darlene Says:

    Congrats on your blogging. I love macaroni salad but growing up, despised my mother’s version. She put raisins in it and I don’t like raisins. I’ll try making it with sour cream. What is macaroni salad without some creaminess?

    • sotsil Says:

      Thank you, Darlene. I remember having macaroni salad with raisins too! Don’t mind it. Raisins give it a sweet taste – I guess to counter the “sourness” of mayo. Go slow on the sour cream though (higher proportion of mayo to sour cream). Happy you dropped by!

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