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Balkan Style Macaroni Salad

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
100 grams (1/2 cup / 3.5 oz) Carrots
100 grams (1/2 cup / 3.5 oz) Cheese Cheddar, gouda or any slightly harder cheese will work
100 grams (1/2 cup / 3.5 oz) Ham
100 grams (1/2 cup / 3.5 oz) Peas
100 grams (1/2 cup / 3.5 oz) Potatoes
100 grams (1/2 cup / 3.5 oz) Pickles
200 grams (1 cup / 7 oz) Macaroni
50 grams (1/4 cup / 1.8 oz) Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Mustard

Balkan Style Macaroni Salad

Cuisine:
    • 60 minutes
    • Serves 4
    • Easy

    Ingredients

    Directions

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    Balkan Style Macaroni Salad

    Summer is time for barbecue and what’s more appropriate to go with grilled meat than a macaroni salad. But even though summer is still far away, this Balkan style macaroni salad is great for every season. In the Balkan countries, these kinds of salads that use mayonnaise are often served in winter rather than summer and it’s especially popular when served on celebrations and parties.

    There are hundreds of variations of macaroni salads. This one is probably the most classic one that’s commonly made in the Balkan countries. To be completely honest, in the Balkan countries, macaroni salad is not something that’s commonly enjoyed as an everyday salad. It’s rather something that people make for special occasions like different holidays and gatherings. One reason for this is, when made at home people make it with great care and they cut the ingredients in very small pieces. So when you make the salad in big quantities it can be very time consuming.

    The salad itself resembles the Russian salad which is really popular, but the texture of the tiny macaroni makes it more interesting and special. We suggest that you use the small macaroni also called Stortini. If you can’t find them, then use the tiniest elbow macaroni that you can find. Other shape of tiny macaroni would probably work. But we suggest that you use small elbow macaroni because they will give you the right texture of the macaroni salad.

    One thing that you can change is the ham. You can use pork ham, turkey ham, chicken ham or even vegetarian ham. The ham in the recipe gives the salad a little saltiness and more texture. The same goes for the cheese, if you’re lactose intolerant, you can use lactose free cheese or even vegan cheese. The only thing that you really should use are the pickles because they give that sour and crunchy element to the salad.

     

    Steps

    1
    Done

    Steam or boil the vegetables

    Steam or boil the potatoes for 5-7 minutes. After that add the carrots and peas and steam or boil them until the vegetables are cooked. Remove them from the steamer or pot, place them on plate and leave them to cool.

    2
    Done

    Boil the macaroni

    Boil the macaroni according to package instructions, drain them well and leave them aside to cool. Make sure to stir them gently from time to time so they won't stick together.. Don't rinse the macaroni after they've cooked, you need the starch so that the dressing will stick to them.

    3
    Done

    Chop the ingredients

    Finely chop all of the ingredients. Try to make the cubes the same size or slightly smaller than the peas. This is slightly time consuming but it has a great impact on the salad's texture.

    4
    Done

    Mix everything toghether

    Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl, add the mayo and mustard and mix everything together. Depending on your taste you can add more or less mayo.

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