From a young age, my mom and grandma instilled in me a truly wonderful state of mind — a dish can contain marshmallows and you can still call it a salad. How liberating! Take it one step further, adding in Cool Whip and it’s still a salad. No kale, spinach or the resemblance of anything that could improve my bodily state and I’m able to slap the salad category on not just this recipe, but others. This is the equivalent of the 1960’s free love, but with food.
Either way, this sweet salad is the ultimate throwback to the days of a party salad, the dish people brought to both cheerful get-togethers or church funerals. That is again a testament to its versatility on the plate. It’s light green color reminds me of shag carpet, macrame and bell-bottom jeans. And hey, one of those things are coming back into style, so this salad surely isn’t too fair behind.
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple
Box of instant pistachio pudding mix
8 oz. container of Cool Whip
1 1/2 cup of mini-marshmallows (multi-colored if you’re daring)
Optional – A bit after the fact, mom told me you can also add maraschino cherries or pecan bits to the salad for a little extra kick.
Place pineapple with juice in a mixing bowl. Add dry pudding mix, mixing well with a spoon. Gently fold in the Cool Whip and then marshmallows. Chill overnight before serving to allow the pudding to set up.
From Christmas to summertime picnics, the pistachio pineapple salad has appeared on my plate. Small wonder considering it’s my mom’s favorite salad (I think partly due to the taste, but also the fact it takes about 10 minutes to make and serves 10-12 easily). Interestingly, Mom shared that this dish was originally called a Watergate Salad following President Nixon’s infamous blunder. How a political scandal translated into a fluffy feast of whipped cream and pineapple, I’m not entirely sure. It makes me wonder if five years in the future, all dinner parties will have a spot for Russian Probe Pudding or Email Scandal Eclairs.