Let the record show that there is now a recipe on here that involves the word “salad.” Okay, okay. On one hand it is technically not a salad because the only vegetables involved are herbs. But on the other hand, which is what I’m going to go with, it is a salad because it has a dressing. And I actually liked it.
You see, besides the obvious mixing vegetables and leafy greens in a bowl thing that I have a problem with when it comes to salads, I really don’t like dressings. Every night when Gerrit pours his dressing over his salad at dinner, I scrunch my nose up at the smell. Dressings can be so many things: too vinegary, too creamy, too lemony and never ever have I found one that is just right.
But this dressing on this macaroni salad works perfectly. I think I can handle it a bit more because we have the starch of the noodles to cancel some of that vinegar flavor out. But whatever the reason, I now have a side dish that I can bring to barbecues.
There is nothing complicated about this, which is perhaps another reason I like it. It is warm macaroni noodles with mozzarella cheese thrown in along with some herbs for flavor and the light dressing to bring it all together. And really for most people, this might not be something to go on and on about. There are, after all, zillions of salads out there in the world. But for me, this is the one that I have found, and this is the one I’ll be sticking with for awhile.
Warm Macaroni and Mozzarella Salad
from Paula Deen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 oz. (2 cups) macaroni
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper (this is the dressing). Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and then transfer it to a medium-sized serving bowl. Add the basil and parsley along with half the dressing. Stir to combine. Then add the cheese along with the rest of the dressing. Again, stir to combine so that the cheese melts just a bit. Serve warm.