Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad recipe is a great side dish for bar-b-ques and picnics.  Perfect for Labor Day!  What makes this macaroni salad a hit is the dressing.  The secret ingredient is pickle juice.  It adds a sweetness that balances the onion and vinegar.  I recommend making this recipe 4 to 24 hours in advance so the flavors marry.  This will allow time for the pasta to chill and soak up all the delicious dressing ingredients. Read more

Coleslaw

BBQ season is upon us! Nothing goes better with some BBQ than coleslaw! It’s easy to make and it tastes best if you make it a day in advance.  When you mix together everything in this recipe, it becomes more flavorful if you refrigerate it at least 4 hours and tastes even better if marinating overnight.  The cabbage needs time to “bleed” some liquid out and an soak up the flavor of the salad dressing.  When you first mix the coleslaw ingredients, it seems heavy on the mayo and not very flavorful.  But after a few hours, things start to marinate together, the flavors marry, and there’s a cool crispiness to each bite.  A perfect balance to whatever hot food you cook on the grill.  This recipe uses half a head of cabbage.  That feeds about 4 people.  If you want to use the whole head of cabbage, just double the amount of ingredients.

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Caprese Salad

Did you know that Caprese salad was created to represent the colors of the Italian flag?  Me either.  Maybe it’s just coincidence.  I’ve seen it referenced a number of times that “Insalata Caprese” or “salad of Capri” for those of us who only eat Italian, was made to represent the colors red, white, and green and thus become a food symbol of Italy.  Two ingredients of this food symbol came freshly picked from my garden.  Oh, summer gardens…how I love thee… There is nothing like a freshly picked tomato from a garden.  And I’ve got to say, that basil is taking off and trying to take over.  I have to keep eating it to keep that plant in check.  I first got introduced to Caprese salad during the flurry of wine bars that popped up about ten years ago.  You know the ones who claimed to have invented bruscetta boards. Everyone would say, “oh! I love the Caprese”.  I didn’t know what it was and just said what I usually say when asked if I’ll share something.  Which is yes.  Of course.  After trying it a few times and then ordering it as a salad I realized it was just simple:  fresh mozzarella, sliced fresh tomato, and fresh basil.  Then top it with some balsamic vinegar and you have a summer delight.  All the fancy magazines say to pair it with a light, crisp white or rose wine.  Even a sparkling wine.  It balances the acidity of the tomatoes.  I like it with a Sangiovese.  I’m a rebel like that.

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