Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover them with 2 cups of boiling water. Set them aside for 30 minutes to soak.
In a large pot, add the water for cooking the macaroni plus ½ a teaspoon of salt. Once it reaches a boil, add the macaroni and cook it until it is tender but is still firm and chewy. When the macaroni is done, immediately drain and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and rinse away the starch.
To make the dressing, drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a blender. Add the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, curry powder, ground pepper, paprika, and ½ a cup of water.
Blend the dressing until it is smooth. Add more water (I used a total of ¾ of a cup) and blend until the salad dressing is thin enough to run off a spoon when you test it. Taste, adjust the ingredients if necessary, and add salt if desired.
In a large salad bowl, combine the macaroni and dressing. Mix in the red onion, celery, red bell pepper, and pickles.
Garnish the salad with a dash of paprika if desired.
If the macaroni starts to absorb the dressing, mix in a tablespoon of lemon juice to help separate it.
You can substitute the cashews with ground sunflower seeds or silken tofu if desired. You can also make the dressing with half cashews and half white beans. We’ve not tested these suggestions with this particular recipe.
Place leftover salad in a container with a lid, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freshen up the salad by adding lemon juice and/or ½ a teaspoon of Dijon or mild mustard to freshen it up.