Confessions of a Potato Salad Purist

by Guest Blogger Chef Cameo McRoberts

 

 ‘Tis the season to reinvent the potato salad. A picnic staple that heats the debate over ‘classic’ versus ‘contemporary’ as much as blue jeans and the little black dress.  Potato salad could be coined the “carbo-loaded fashionista” of the summer BBQ runway.  Each season it is reinvented, time and again. The Donna Reed, red checker style with yellow mustard and egg –  the Heidi Klum, German potato spiked with vinegar and  pork fat –or the Selma Hyak, loaded with  chilies and Latin flair.

 

Foundations may vary as much accessories, be it red bliss, Yukon, russet, sweet, purple, baked, boiled or steamed. Properly cooked potatoes make all the difference: creamy throughout but not overcooked. Keep it cool at parties! Keep in mind that the starches in potatoes can be as harmful as the mayo when heated by the sun. 

 

Trends come and go but the important thing to remember is construction and style is the true test of a well-dressed salad.  Let your salad drink up the dressing and season it well. 

 

For fear of dragging out the fashonista analogy any longer, remember to play to your audience and the occasion: for family picnics stick with a classic but do it with charm and finesse, for a BBQ with friends try out the newest potato on the block by zesting up your pots with curry and fresh herbs.  But don’t over do it! Like Coco Channel says, the secret to accessorizing is to take one thing off before you leave the house. Here’s to a summer full of good cheer, good taste, lots of sunscreen and not ending up on the ‘worst dressed’ list.

 

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Thanks Cameo for a fun blog on a summer classic. I love old school “mom-style” super mayo laden potato salad – but to the waistline, it’s not so friendly! So for a tasty potato salad that will keep you looking at your fashionable best here is one of my favorite potato salad recipes – a great mayo’less salad to take or serve at any outdoor get together. – Kathy

 

Summer Garden Potato Salad with Feta Vinaigrette

You’ll want to dress your potatoes while still warm to soak up all the dressing! This is a great salad to serve as a side-kick to grilled chicken, steak or fish.

 

Makes 8 cups

 

2 pounds red potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1/2 cup halved pitted calamata olives

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (or sub fresh peppers)

1 small green pepper, diced

1/2 cup finely diced red or sweet white onion

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup crumbled cheese)

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

 

Steam potatoes until very tender, about 12 – 14 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, oregano, salt and pepper.

 

When potatoes are still warm, toss them with the dressing and set aside until cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

 

Copyright © 2009 Kathy Casey Food Studios

 

Posted by Kathy on May 28th, 2009  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts, salads, sides

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