Feeds an Army
I’ve not made, or written, about this salad for a few years. But the flavor bowl is so perfect for summer cookouts that I’ve moved it to the top of my Must-Make-Soon list. This is a dish with a bit of history, which always adds to the charm of a recipe. It all began more than 30 years ago. A friend went to a cooking class and came back raving about a recipe called Mostaccioli Salad.
The word mostaccioli means “little mustaches,” she said, and describes the 2-inch-long macaroni tubes cut on the diagonal. She gave me the recipe with the warning that it would “feed an army,” making it perfect for a picnic or family gathering. She was right. Over the years, I’ve fed many a hungry “army” with this colorful, tasty noodle dish.
A Cool Salad for a Hot Day
As you read the recipe, the first thing you’ll notice is that it contains a cups of shredded cucumber. I’m not wild about cukes, but in this recipe, I have no problem, because they’re not overpowering.
You might consider using the dressing for any noodle-vegetable salad. It only takes 5 ingredients, that you can shake together in a pint jar: olive oil, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, cider vinegar, garlic, plus salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Is Best
While I joke about it feeding an army, the recipe actually serves about 12 and can easily be halved. Be sure to make it ahead of time and refrigerate overnight, or even longer. This noodle dish is sturdy enough to holds up well for several days, but it seldom lasts that long. It’s one of those salads you tend to pick at when you open the refrigerator door.
I’ve seen variations on the ingredients that call for as much as 1-1/2 cups of sugar! Thankfully, this recipes requires none and I’ve never noticed the omission. It’s a classic recipe and a dependable one to have in your arsenal of summer salads.