Potato salad bound with pesto. Photo
courtesy U.S. Potato Board.
Many people think of potato salad as warm weather fare, or a side with a sandwich. But different recipes are served at temperatures beyond the familiar chilled, mayonnaise-bound potato salad: warm southern German potato salad served with sausage and other meats and room temperature vinaigrette-dressed potato salad as a side.
So today’s tip is: During the cooler months, serve a warm potato salad. Bypass the mayo and dairy dressings (buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt) for a warm vinaigrette (add a teaspoon of lemon juice or mustard, plus salt and pepper) or simply a good olive oil, as in the recipe below. If you have flavored olive oil—basil, blood orange, chile, garlic, rosemary, etc.—this is the time to use it!
If you make the dish in advance, warm it—or the dressing—in the microwave. You can serve the potato salad at room temperature with a warm vinaigrette; or dress the salad and heat it briefly in the microwave. Instead of vinaigrette, consider another olive oil-based dressing, such as pesto.
WHAT POTATOES SHOULD YOU USE?
Chose waxy potatoes, such as fingerlings, new potatoes, red jacket and small white round potatoes. They have more moisture and less starch. The lower starch enables them to hold their shape well during cooking. When boiled, steamed or roasted, waxy potatoes come out firm and moist—the ideal consistency for potato salad.
We keep the skins on to preserve the nutrients; we actually prefer the “rustic” look the skins impart.
See our Potato Glossary for the different types of potatoes.
WHAT TO MIX INTO YOUR POTATO SALAD?
It’s sad that take-out potato salad has convinced most Americans that all you need are potatoes, mayonnaise and perhaps some shredded carrot for color. The great thing about potato salad is that it can take on a different personality—and layers of flavor—with each added ingredient. Look through the fridge and pantry and add any ingredients and leftovers.
All of these combinations are made with vinaigrette or olive oil, but can be bound with any dressing you choose:
Bacon: chopped or crumbled, with or without anchovies, in a mustard vinaigrette
“Green goddess”: combine broccoli florets, chopped steamed green beans, scallions, gherkins, capers, parsley and dill in a fresh herb vinaigrette (we add snipped tarragon to the vinaigrette)
“House salad”: add potatoes to your regular green salad (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, etc.)
Onion: Mix in caramelized onions or pickled onions;try some optional grated raw onion for garnish
Potato-egg salad: a combination of potato salad and egg salad, with hard-cooked eggs, pickle relish and a Dijon vinaigrette
Salade piemontaise: a French recipe with cubed ham, hard-cooked egg, diced tomato, pickles and corn
NEED MORE INSPIRATION?
Toss in whatever you have—anything that is begging to be tossed in—including, but not limited to:
From the produce drawer: bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, celery, fennel, fresh herbs, diced apple, halved grapes, diced orange segments
From the freezer: broccoli, corn kernels, green peas
From the fridge: diced or shredded cheese; leftover fish, meat, poultry, cooked vegetables; salami, sausage, sliced frankfurters
From the refrigerator door: mustard, pesto, relish, Worcestershire sauce or other condiments
From the pantry: baby corn, beets, capers, corn, gherkins, olives, peas, pickles, pimiento, tuna, water chestnuts
BEER ROASTED POTATO SALAD RECIPE
This delicious warm potato salad with bacon was a finalist in the United States Potato Board-sponsored “Healthy Potato Salad” Recipe Redux Challenge. This recipe was created by LoveAndZest.com, a blog written by a registered dietician. Yield: 6 servings. Prep time: 15 Minutes. Cook time: 45 Minutes.
24 ounces fingerling potatoes (tri-color if you can find them)
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 cup beer
1 teaspoon toasted onion, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced and dried
5 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
Extra virgin olive oil
Brussels sprouts and bacon enhance this warm potato salad. Photo courtesy PotatoGoodness.com.
1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F.
2. SLICE potatoes and Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Place in a large bowl and soak in beer for 5 minutes.
3. PLACE on a rimmed baking sheet and top with onion, garlic and rosemary; drizzle with olive oil.
4. BAKE 45 minutes, stirring midway through baking. Remove from oven.
5. SPRINKLE roasted vegetables with kosher salt. Top with bacon. Add extra olive oil if desired.
FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE SALAD AND POTATO SALAD RECIPES.