Going to cookouts is a fun thing. There’s the smell of freshly cut grass, delicious homemade food, lots of friends and family etc. It’s a good recipe for a memorable day. Food is all about sharing moments together. Having everyone in your garden, serving them amazing meals, is a huge pleasure.
One of the things that you usually find on a barbecue party is a macaroni salad. Now here you can improvise endlessly. I know lots of recipes with pasta. Usually that type of salad is served cold. Usually lots of mayonnaise goes into it – that makes it delicious but makes you grow in diameter as well. So I decided to dress my salad with mashed avocado, a juice of a lime, hot paprika, salt and a bit of english mustard. I just love the creaminess that this dressing adds to the macaroni. Instead of the usual tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, green peas and many other ingredients that you put inside, I decided to use grilled vegetables. My salad is with bell peppers, aubergines and onions cooked on a grill pan and topped with capers.
I want to talk a bit more for the dressing that I chose for that recipe. The combination of avocado and english mustard is something you need to try. It’s really good. I discovered it with an ex colleague of mine – we worked in a kitchen together. We used to have avocado toast for breakfast with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms. One day we wanted to change something about that, just because we needed a bit more flavour…. And then we put the first thing that stayed in front of us – a jar of english mustard. Just a tiny bit…. It’s usually quite strong but adding it to avocado makes it so much creamier, sweeter and softer that it became straight away our new favourite. That being a salad dressing for your bowl of macaroni gives it another type of character and transforms it into a very healthy choice, rather than using a whole jar of mayonnaise. Avocado is full of vitamins and it helps maintain normal cholesterol levels. I am not going to talk more about it, you can see it yourself by clicking on the link above. It’s qualities are being proven every single day.
In order to do that salad you need to prepare the products for exactly 5 minutes and the whole cooking process takes no more than 20 minutes. I’ll give you the ingredients in order to prepare 4 servings.
Macaroni Salad with Grilled Vegetable Recipe
- 250 gr of macaroni
For the grilled veg:
- 1 medium sized aubergine
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
- 1 clove of garlic - finely chopped
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
To dress the salad:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 tsp of english mustard
- A pinch of hot paprika
- A pinch of salt
- A squeeze of fresh lime
To top the salad:
- 2 tbsp of capers
Cut the bell peppers into long strips
Slice the aubergine lengthwise - 1 cm thick
Slice the onion in circles - 1 cm thick
Cook the vegetables on a grill pan or a charcoal grill, for 5 minutes on each side
Meanwhile, cook your macaroni according to the instructions on the package.
While the vegetables and macaroni are cooking, you can prepare the dressing for the salad.
Peel the avocado and put it into a bowl with the mustard, hot paprika, a squeeze of lime and a bit of salt and mash with a fork.
When the pasta is cooked, using a colander, drain it and then rinse it with cold water. Set aside.
When the vegetables are ready, cut them into smaller chunks and add them to a bowl. Season them with a bit of olive oil, salt, finely chopped garlic and parsley and let them marinade for about 5 minutes. They need to absorb that flavour really good.
Now you can start assembling the salad. Mix the macaroni with the avocado dressing then add the vegetables and mix again until it’s all evenly distributed. Top with some capers and enjoy.
Macaroni Salad Recipe
STEP ONE – PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
Slice the onions into 1 cm thick circles, cut the bell peppers into strips, and slice the aubergine lengthwise – 1 cm thick.
STEP TWO – GRILL THE VEGETABLES
Using a grill pan, or a charcoal grill, cook the vegetables for 5 minutes on each side.
STEP THREE – COOK THE MACARONI
Cook your macaroni, according to the instructions on the package. It always starts with boiling water with a bit of salt, then adding the pasta and cook accordingly (6-10) minutes.
STEP FOUR – DRAIN AND RINSE THE MACARONI WITH COLD WATER
When the pasta is cooked, using a colander, drain it and rinse it with cold water.
STEP FIVE – PREPARE THE DRESSING
In a bowl, put the peeled avocado, mustard, hot paprika, salt and a squeeze of lime. Using a fork, mash it until smooth.
STEP SIX – CUT AND SEASON THE GRILLED VEGETABLES
When the vegetables are cooked, cut them into smaller bite-sized chunks and add them to a bowl. Now add the finely chopped garlic and parsley and some olive oil and salt. Mix nicely and let them marinade for 5 minutes. They really need to soak in all that flavour.
STEP SEVEN – DRESS THE MACARONI
Before completely finishing the salad you need to toss the macaroni with the mashed avocado dressing.
STEP EIGHT – ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
When the salad is dressed you can add in the grilled vegetables and top with the capers.
Now you can start eating – enjoy!
If you some extra flavour and juice in your salad, you can always grill some tomatoes as well. They will work just amazing with all the other ingredients – they will simply dress your salad a bit extra. Another thing that will make it better is some asparagus.
If not on a cookout, you can simply enjoy the salad at home for lunch or dinner. It’s very quick and so full of flavour and it’s unbelievable how fast you can do it – in under 30 minutes.
What is your favourite macaroni salad – let us know in the comment section below.
See you soon!