Creamy, Lighter Macaroni Salad

I think I have shared before how much I have traditionally despised all kinds of summer salads. The hate has come mostly from my aversion to the thick, globby mayonnaise dressing that so many of these salads sport. From pasta salad to potato and macaroni, I always turned my nose up at them. Until I started making my own. And proving that less is more when it comes to mayonnaise and salads. I gave pasta salad an Italian spin, whipped up my friend’s grandmother’s best ever potato salad, and now I’ve conquered macaroni salad. It’s been an exciting summer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This recipe starts out as your typical macaroni salad with elbow macaroni, celery, radishes, dill pickle, and hard boiled eggs, but the difference lies in the dressing. Instead of piling on the mayo, the bulk of the dressing is made up of plain yogurt, with a much smaller amount of mayonnaise used as an accent, instead of the main ingredient. It results in a salad that is perfectly dressed – moist and a little creamy but not at all thick or overpowering. Along with the crunch from the vegetables, it’s a wonderfully refreshing summer salad.

One year ago: Oven-Fried Onion Rings, Take II
Two years ago: Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo

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Creamy Macaroni Salad

Ingredients:

ยฝ pound elbow macaroni

2 hard-cooked eggs, whites roughly chopped, yolks left whole

1 cup low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 radishes, quartered and thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Directions:

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.


2. In a small bowl, finely mash 1 egg yolk with a fork (reserve remaining yolk for another use). Add yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice; stir until smooth. Add to pasta, then stir in egg whites, radishes, celery and pickle. Season with salt and pepper.


3. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Sprinkle with chives just before serving.


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(Recipe adapted from Everyday Food, July/August 2011)


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