When my husband and I planned our first garden, we overdid the tomato and zucchini plants. By the end of harvest, I was at my wit's end wondering what else I could do with all those vegetables (sound familiar?). That's when my sister and I came up with this great-tasting salad. Today, even though we have our garden under control, we still make this popular dish.
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 7 to 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- In a blender container or food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pepper, and salt if desired. Process until finely chopped. Add oil and vinegar; process until well blended. Set aside. In a 4-qt. salad bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini, macaroni and cheese; toss lightly. Pour dressing over all; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Macaroni Salad with Basil Dressing in Country Extra July 1993, p51
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