MACARONI SALAD WITH HERBS AND LEMON

MACARONI SALAD WITH HERBS AND LEMON (10 cups)

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup minced bread and butter pickles

2 large stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, plus more for garnish

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup buttermilk (or, if you prefer, skip the buttermilk, increase the mayonnaise to ¾ cup and add ¼ cup milk)

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, pus more for garnish

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus small sprigs for garnish

¼ cup drained jarred capers, chopped, plus 3 tablespoons caper brine

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest plus 4 teaspoons juice (from 1 large lemon)

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

16 ounces elbow macaroni

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1.   Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

2.   While the water comes to a boil, prepare the dressing.  In a large bowl, stir together the pickles, celery, scallions, mayonnaise, buttermilk, parsley, dill, capers and brine, mustard, lemon zest and juice and sugar.  Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

3.   Cook the macaroni in the boiling water until al dente, about 6 minutes; drain well and let cool for a few minutes.

4.   Once cooled, toss macaroni with dressing, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until chilled.  Top with extra scallions, parsley and dill just before serving.

from Alex Weibel, the New York Times

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