by Gordon Angrignon
Making a potato salad can be an exercise in creativity. All you need are
simple ingredients and a willingness to experiment.
Potato Salad is one of the most social and well traveled salads there is
because it's always showing up at picnics, barbeques, parties, camping trips,
weddings and even funerals. Potato salad is similar to people in that each one
is unique and a little different to any other one that has been made before.
Here is the basic structure of the salad with some optional ingredients to
Any kind will work here. Most people peel them but you don't have to. If you
prefer them unpeeled make sure you wash them well before slicing them. I usually
slice them into 1/2" slices before cooking. Boil until tender, drain and rinse
with cold water in a colander. Chop cooled potato slices into bite-sized pieces
and add to a large salad bowl.
The standard dressing is mayonnaise, the sweeter Miracle Whip or its generic
equivalent. This is good by itself or you can add small amounts of other
condiments to enhance the flavor. Mustard is the most popular one to add, either
a plain one or one of the many fancy types out there these days.
There are a few alternatives to using mayonnaise as a dressing base. Yogurt
is a healthy alternative, and you can choose from regular, reduced fat or even
fat free. A light or fat-free sour cream can also be used. A mixture of these 3
can also be tried if one by itself is too bland.
There are also some soy-based yogurts for those who prefer non-dairy.
If you prefer a lighter dressing you could make a simple oil and vinegar
dressing such as this one:
1/4 cup cider or wine vinegar
2 tbsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp salt
The easiest option is to just use your favorite bottled salad dressing from
your refrigerator. Either a creamy one or oil/vinegar type will work fine.
It's best to make the salad first and then add dressing a little at a time
until the right consistency is achieved. Again, that is a personal preference.
Most potato salads have some form of onion in them. Sweet onions are popular
as they are not as strong as regular onions. Green onions are also good. Another
main ingredient is celery, and from there the options are endless. Here are some
more to choose from:
carrots-thinly slices or grated
zucchini seeds, thinly sliced or chopped
4- Eggs & Cheese
Potato salad recipes sometimes call for hard-boiled eggs. For a standard
sized salad made with 6 potatoes usually 4 eggs are mixed in and 2 are sliced
and placed on top as a garnish.
Any type of cheese can be added and can be sliced, cubed or grated. A
3-cheese ranch dressing goes well with this.
5- Fruit & Nuts
Not something you normally find in a potato salad but well worth
any dried fruit
Olives can go well if the salad has cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese for a
Mediterranean style salad.
Pickles-any kind thinly sliced or chopped.
Garlic-a little chopped fresh garlic if you are a garlic lover, otherwise
leave this one out.
Spices-a pinch or two of your favorite will always add a little flair.
Bacon-cooked and crumbled or use bacon-bits
Taste Test & Garnish
Taste your salad and add salt and/or pepper if desired. Sprinkle a little
paprika over finished salad for an attractive garnish.
Cool and serve.
The basic recipe is a fine salad to make but with all the options available
it's easy to come up with a unique, different tasty salad every time.