We’re coming into summer weather in Utah, and in recognition of that, I planned to have pasta salad one day last week. After all, who wants a hot meal on a hot day, right? (Of course, on the actual day in question, it ended up being overcast with a brisk wind all day long, but you can’t win them all.) I found 3 contenders from my ‘Pasta Salads’ board on Pinterest–yes, I have a board dedicated exclusively to pasta salads–and picked, ironically, the least tempting of the three. (That’s what happens when the other two would require an extra trip to the grocery store.) I was originally going to make it quickly and serve it up that same night, but when I realized it was supposed to refrigerate overnight, well, clearly that ship had sailed. Overnight wasn’t really going to happen, though, so I made it my number one priority after walking my oldest to school the next morning. (And I have to say, having to do almost nothing for dinner in the late afternoon was delightful!)
Anyway, I duly brought it out at dinnertime and found that the reactions to Mom’s Macaroni Salad differed considerably. On one end of the spectrum, of course, was my middle, who detested it on principle, since it was quite a bit outside the box of our typical dinners. (I tend towards Italian or BBQ pasta salads, as a rule.) On the other end we have my oldest and Daddy, who seemed to enjoy it. That leaves the boy and me in the middle; he ate some but not all, and isn’t exactly old enough to do our thumb review, and I was underwhelmed. The problem was that it had a creamy dressing with a very mild mustard flavor, and I like TANG. I wish I’d used Dijon mustard; my taste buds also wished I’d tripled the amount called for (while the part of me responsible for getting my children to eat did NOT). It made quite a bit, so I’ve been adding diced banana pepper rings to my leftovers; it ups the flavor considerably. Bacon bits or raw onion or pickles would do the same thing; at the end of the day, it just wants something to add crunch and little bursts of strong flavor.
There you have it, folks. I’m probably not going to make this one again, but only because the flavor profile didn’t suit me. If you like a milder, creamier pasta salad, you should give this one a go.