Cookout season is in full swing. And with it, cold salads, a personal favorite. There are so many varieties out there, from coleslaw, to macaroni, to cold bean salads I thought it would be a good place to start the summer cookout season.
The featured recipe tonight is from a neighborhood cookout we had last week. I was very busy, so I had to throw together something quick. I went with a basic macaroni salad, but with a few tricks to keep it fresh and flavorful, instead of soggy and bland as some can be.
Before that, here are a few other cold salads:
JeffreyW has a traditional coleslaw recipe (and slideshow) here.
I’ve made a Caribbean Orange-Mango Coleslaw for several summer cookouts. Recipe here.
I adapted a Giada De Laurentiis, recipe for Italian Lentil Salad here.
That’s just a start. I’ll probably follow-up in a while with some veggie cold salads. But until then, what’s on your summer plate this weekend? What are some of your favorite cold salads? What’s your go-to dish when you’re invited to a cookout? Hit the comments and share your ideas.
And finally, the featured recipe (pictured above).
Quick and Easy Macaroni Salad
- 1/2 cup creamy Italian dressing (I like Newman’s Own)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
Blend together well and refrigerate until ready to mix in.
- 16 oz box favorite pasta
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp celery seeds
- 1 tsp crushed dried basil
- Salt and pepper
- 8 oz shredded carrots
- 1 celery stalk, minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz cubed mild cheese (I used a marbled colby/jack)
Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and pasta. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, spices, celery seed, and let sit for 5 minutes. As the pasta absorbs the remaining water, it absorbs all the flavors. Next stir in carrots, celery, cheese and tomatoes. Save tossing with the dressing until 5-10 minutes before serving. This keeps the pasta from absorbing all of it and becoming mushy and flavorless, but still gives it enough time to meld the flavors together.
And some more stuff, too! We pretty well decided that fried fish would be on the menu today when we found the last few frozen fillets in the freezer today. I wanted some coleslaw like you get at KFCs, and Google told me that there were recipes reputed to be the actual secret recipe. Many recipes, many different recipes. I stopped at this recipe because Squidoo has been very nice about using my pictures posted at Flickr and giving me credit. I was pretty slap dash building the slaw, didn’t measure anything. Used less than a whole head of cabbage and did the conversion math in my head. Also didn’t have any buttermilk, but since making your own buttermilk involves adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk I don’t think it really made much difference. I used the food processor to chop the cabbage, carrots, and onion and then dumped those into a large bowl. The rest of the stuff I just eyeballed into the processor again and gave it a quick spin to mix and then poured it over the veggies. I used too many carrots, I think, but the slaw tasted very good, and seemed close enough to what you get at the fast food place. I’m going to call it a winner.
Thawed some beans I made this spring for a Memorial Day picnic. Yum! A whole ‘nother post there. And the tartar sauce! Yummy!
Nearly forgot the corn on the cob I had ready when taking my usual round of pictures, I did get it in there but it was hurried and the butter slid off before I got focused. Drat!