AFC DRESSING-FREE MAC SALAD
Not your traditional Mac Salad. More veggies, less macaroni. Garlic basil tarragon. Sauteed onion and sweet red pepper till soft and sweet. Raw celery scallion, red pepper again. Black olive, cilantro. Sweet peas and green beans. Served just like that with no dressing. If it tastes good and it goes smoothly to the gut as macaroni does, then who needs the dressing as long as you have enough complimentary veggies? Everything’s tasty here!
Makes 10 cups
12 oz. dried elbow macaroni, cooked in lots of sufficiently salted boiling water till tender, drain, rinse under cold water till cool, drain over pot till dry, stirring occasionally
1/2 c. very finely sliced celery, so it’s translucent
1/3 c. sliced scallion, green and white part
1/4 c. fine dice fresh sweet red pepper
1/2 c. lg. California black olives, cut from end to end into quarters
1/2 c. fine chop fresh cilantro – use tops
12 oz. froz. peas, boil in water till plump, just a couple minutes, drain well, rinse under cold water and place over pot to dry – add a few ice cubes and shake occasionally – do not overcook
2 c. froz. cut green beans, boil in water till plump, just a couple minutes, drain well, rinse under cold water and place over pot to dry – add a few ice cubes and shake occasionally – do not overcook
- thaw/cook the peas and beans together – taste the bean to make sure it’s tender – do not overcook
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. dried tarragon
2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. celery seed
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. red cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 t. salt
fresh grind black pepper to taste
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. diced sweet onion, 1/2 inch squares
1/2 c. diced fresh sweet red pepper, 1/4 inch squares
1 t. salt
1- Prepare macaroni as instructed and set aside.
2- Cook peas and green beans till thawed. Rinse under cold water and drain. Use ice to keep cold. Then set aside to dry in colander. Just before serving wrap in paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
3- Saute: In large skillet, over medium heat, melt olive oil. Add onion, red peppers and salt, then saute till partially wilted.
- Reduce heat to low and saute till translucent and soft (the slower you cook, the more flavorful). Set aside.
4– Assembly: In large mixing bowl place macaroni, celery, scallion, red pepper, olive and cilantro. Toss to distribute.
- Add all seasonings, starting with garlic powder and ending with vinegar. Toss well.
- Add peas and green beans. Toss.
- Add onion saute. Toss.
- Transfer to storage container and refrigerate till ready to use.
- Before serving toss again, then transfer to serving bowl.