Is potato salad healthy? It’s potatoes and mayo and … Ah, the solution is to be inclusive. Add some veggies like celery and peppers. Add some eggs [ok, marginally healthy]. Pickles, definitely healthy.
In short, the quality of your potato salad is up to you. But it can be a delicious combination of ingredients rich in nutrients. After all, when do you eat celery? Here in potato salad and in the dressing for that Thanksgiving turkey, right?
I put this recipe to very good use in my culinary team building classes at Cooking by the Book. This salad is part of a favorite entrée: Steak with Charred Tomato Butter with Grilled Succotash and Summer Potato Salad.
In my kitchen, groups come to improve their team strengths by cooking together. For this entrée, separate teams work on the steak, the succotash, and this salad. They have to coordinate their efforts so, just like in a 4-star restaurant, every element of the dish comes together just in time. It’s fun to see professionals, standing with spoons in hand, looking over their shoulders, blasting questions, and scurrying to make sure their team succeeds.
This salad has the classic flavors you may remember from the potato salad of summer picnics generation ago: the celery, the hard boiled eggs, that dash of apple cider vinegar.
Before summer ends, add this splash of sunshine.
Sunshine Potato Salad
Yield: serves 6 to 8
- 6 waxy potatoes (about 3 pounds)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup diced red peppers
- ⅓ cup diced green or yellow peppers
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1½ cups finely chopped onions
- 3 large eggs, hard-boiled and coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup coarsely chopped dill pickles
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat; cook only until tender, when pierced with a small paring knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Peel when cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place other cut-up vegetables in a separate bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, water, salt, and black pepper. Pour dressing over warm potatoes and stir gently to coat. Cover and place in refrigerator, it necessary. Stir occasionally for even marinating.
Before serving pour off any excess marinade. Add peppers, celery, onion, eggs, and dill pickles and toss very gently to combine. In a small bowl. Stir together mayonnaise and mustard. Add to salad and toss to coat vegetables. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: Heirloom Cooking
Is it possible to figure out how many potatoes you have eaten in your life? At my age, and with my growing-up-in-the-50s background, my PPC — Personal Potato Count — is very, very high. Baked potatoes, French fries, hash browns, potato salad, … That veggie has been a major part of intake.
And my favorite? Well, for ease of use, I love them baked. However, I could use a baked boost. Just baked with butter is good — although I have been accused of adding too much salt and pepper. But that standard pairing day-in-day-out can get a tad boring. Sour cream and chives? I’ve been there. Worchester and other steak sauces? Spicy and interesting, but not every day. And there is salt there, too.
Yes, it was suggested that I lower my salt intake. And, yes, my lovely wife is monitoring my intake grain by grain.
Back to that butter. That unsalted butter by the way. This summer Suzen is offering her Cooking by the Book clients steak with an herbed butter. I expanded that idea this weekend to create this flavored butter that was just outstanding on my baked potato. The butter flavor is there, of course, but now augmented with the tasty boost of peppers, basil and cilantro. The best part of this? There is enough flavor here that you do NOT want to grab for the salt shaker.
Pepper and Herbed Butter
Yield: 12 tablespoons
- 1 stick of butter [4 ounces or 8 tablespoons]
- ⅓ cup of canned red pepper, finely diced
- 5 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
Take the stick of butter from the refrigerator and finely slice it on a cutting board. Place the slices in a bowl and using a wooded spoon work the butter until it begins to soften. You’ll need at least 2 minutes here.
Add the remaining ingredients and continuing working the butter. At some point you may want to use your hands, not a spoon, to gently fold the peppers and herbs into the butter. I had a lot of pepper to incorporate; dicing the peppers finely makes the incorporation stage easier.
Form the butter into a roll, seal in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour before use.
Source: Brian O’Rourke