If you have a little backyard garden going this summer, this macaroni salad could be a good way to use some of your home-grown produce. We have a ton of mint that I wanted to make use of, as well as pepper and tomatoes growing outside.
This salad makes use of fresh mint and lemon juice, extra virgin olive, apple cider vinegar, horseradish sauce, and ketchup for the dressing.
You can use mild or hot horseradish sauce, according to preference. Also, you could adjust the amounts and kinds of veggies that you put in this, keeping in mind that you might need to increase the dressing.
This salad is inspired by one that my friend Zee once brought to a potluck. Of course, I had to ask her what went in it, and of course, I had to modify it to suit our taste The mint makes it very refreshing, and the ketchup and horseradish add a lovely depth of flavor.
This salad need not be limited to the summer months. You can substitute dried mint for the fresh mint leaves.
Summer Mint Macaroni Salad
2 cups elbow macaroni or ditalini pasta (dry)
½ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped (or substitute 1 Tablespoon dried mint if fresh is unavailable)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tomato, chopped fine
¼ cup bell pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup onion (white, yellow, red, or scallion), chopped fine
2 tablespoons horseradish sauce
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic (optional)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, place mint, olive oil, garlic, pepper, granulated garlic (if using) and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until emulsified. The mint might not be completely pureed smooth, and it is okay if you see small green flecks.
Add the blended dressing to the pasta, stirring to coat all the pasta.
Add tomatoes, peppers, onions, horseradish sauce, ketchup, vinegar, lemon zest, and salt to taste. Combine well.
Refrigerate until serving.