Whenever friends and family gather to celebrate on warm weather days, potato salad probably is the most popular side dish served. However, the traditional salad made with mayonnaise and eggs that we all know and love is being passed by for lighter versions that include more vegetables, different protein sources and healthier dressings.
The best part of the lighter versions is that they are easy to make. Cut your potatoes into 1-inch cubes with the skins still on. Boil in water for about 8 to 15 minutes, then check for doneness by piercing a cube with a fork or skewer. If it goes through with little resistance, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add your favorite dressing and ingredients while the potatoes are still warm. Warm potatoes more easily absorb all the delicious dressing.
Another thing going for these decadent dishes is they best are eaten the day after they’re made. This gives the flavors a chance to intensify and come together. When you’re ready to serve, keep your cold salad the perfect temperature by placing your serving dish in a larger bowl filled with ice.
For more recipes for salads and other potato dishes, go to idahopotato.com.
Potato, Cucumber And Dill Salad
3 large Idaho potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, or 1 tablespoon dried whole dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large cucumber, unpeeled and thinly sliced
Place potato slices in a 9-inch square microwave-safe baking dish. Cover with microwaveable plastic wrap and microwave at high for 9-11 minutes or until tender, stirring gently every three minutes.
Combine vinegar, mustard, oil, dill and salt in small jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Pour vinegar mixture over potatoes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Gently mix in sliced cucumber before serving.
Yields 4 servings.
Potato Salad With Peppers And Onions
For the mustard vinaigrette
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Fresh ground black pepper
2 cups olive oil
Salt, to taste
For the salad
4 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 medium yellow or orange pepper
1 medium onion
3/4 cup mustard vinaigrette
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients except oil in a bowl and whisk until frothy. Whip mixture continuously as oil is added in a steady stream. Whisk until all oil is incorporated. Season to taste.
To make the salad, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water. Cut the pepper into thin, 2-inch strips. Cut the onion into thin slices. Slice warm boiled potatoes into a salad bowl, scatter sliced peppers and onions over them and pour on about 1/2 cup vinaigrette.
Using hands, gently mix salad until each potato slice is coated with vinaigrette and the onions and peppers are well-distributed.
Season salad to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Let the salad stand at least an hour. Before serving, taste the salad again and add vinaigrette to taste.
Yields 6 servings.
Greek Potato Salad
4 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
8 ounces stem ends trimmed green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup snipped fresh dill
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes about 12 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add the green beans and cook 2 minutes longer. Drain well.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Add the potatoes and green beans and toss gently to coat.
Add cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and dill and gently toss. Cool to room temperature.
Sprinkle feta on the salad at serving time.
Yields 8 servings.
Potato, Broccoli and Fennel Salad
8 large Idaho potatoes (about 4 pounds), well-scrubbed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped broccoli (about 1 bunch)
2 cups (16 ounces) ranch salad dressing
3 cups chopped fennel (about one large bulb), with core and tops removed
1 large red onion, quartered and very thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced green olives with pimento (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Leaf lettuce, for garnish
Cherry tomatoes or sliced tomatoes, for garnish
Fill large stockpot half full of water. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and bring back to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and boil for three minutes.
Add broccoli to the potatoes and bring back to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium again, and cook until desired doneness (1-3 minutes). Potatoes and broccoli should be firm. Drain well in colander.
Transfer the potatoes and broccoli to large mixing bowl. Add ranch dressing and let cool. Stir in the fennel, onions and olives, if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve on bed of leaf lettuce with ripe tomatoes as garnish.
Yields 14 servings.