Macaroni Salad With Lemon and Herbs
Consider this a macaroni salad for the 21st century: Like the original, it’s a welcome accompaniment to picnic fare and pairs with virtually anything off the grill. But this version also happens to be bright, acidic and herbaceous. The traditional elements have been preserved — elbow macaroni, mayonnaise and a pinch of sugar are mandatory — but they’ve been bolstered by bright flavors: lemon zest, tangy capers and pickles, crunchy celery and tons of fresh herbs. It goes lighter on mayonnaise than the original, swapping in tangy buttermilk for a dressing that is more glossy than gloopy. It can be served straight from the fridge or at room temperature. A splash of water stirred in restores its silky sheen.
- Serves: 10 persons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ⅔cup minced bread-and-butter pickles
- 2large stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped
- 4scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- ½cup mayonnaise
- ½cup buttermilk (see Tip)
- ⅓cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
- ¼cup chopped fresh dill, plus small sprigs for garnish
- ¼cup drained jarred capers, chopped, plus 3 tablespoons caper brine
- 4teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1teaspoon fresh lemon zest and 4 teaspoons juice (from 1 large lemon)
- 1teaspoon granulated sugar
- 16ounces elbow macaroni
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high.
Step 2While the water comes to a boil, prepare your dressing: In a large bowl, stir together pickles, celery, scallions, mayonnaise, buttermilk, parsley, dill, capers and brine, mustard, lemon zest and juice, and sugar. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Step 3Cook the macaroni in the boiling water until al dente, about 6 minutes; drain well and let cool for a few minutes.
Step 4Once cooled, toss macaroni with dressing, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until chilled. Top with extra scallions, parsley and dill to garnish just before serving.