This is the last post of three salad which are disguised as an “Otoshi”. Who knows, next time we visit an Izakaya in Japan, these salad may become very popular items. This is another popular salad with many variations. This is our version and we use my honey Dijon mustard dressing instead of (more commonly used) mayonnaise. This time instead of scallion or onion, we used chives. Served as seen below, this is a perfect Izakaya food as Otoshi お通し, although may not be as popular as potato salad in an Izakaya.
We use regular small elbow macaroni (this one has a groove on the surface). While it is hot, I dressed the cooked macaroni with a rice vinegar (the amount is arbitrary, enough to add flavor while still being absorbed completely by the pasta), and salt. When it is cooling down, I add a small amount of good olive oil and toss to prevent the macaroni from sticking. Once it is cooled, I mixed in several stalks of celery (both ends trimmed, veins removed and finely cut up), three different kinds of olives (oil cured black olives, Calamata olives, and large green olives stuffed with pimento, all sliced) and chopped chive. I dress the salad with Honey Dijon mustard dressing (I use the dressing sparingly).
Honey Dijon mustard Dressing: I minced shallot (one small), Jalapeno pepper, seeded, veined and minced (1/2, optional), crushed garlic (one small clove, optional. I did not use garlic this time), salt and pepper. I added 1 tbs of honey, 2 tbs of Dijon mustard (I used the smooth kind) and 3-4 tbs of a rice vinegar and mixed. I stream in a EVOO (extravirgin olive oil) and whisk (I do not measure but about 1/2 cup). Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning.
This is our favorite version of macaroni salad. Since we served this together with our potato salad for Memorial day barbecue
, we intentionally did not use mayonnaise. The occasional burst of salty olive flavor is well matched with slightly sweet and tangy dressing. The celery gives a nice crunch. The rice vinegar is much gentler than wine or cider vinegars.