Sunday, May 30, 2010

Red Potato Salad


I made this potato salad for a picnic last year with my mom, and when I set it out on the table, she said with great astonishment, "Who made this potato salad?"
"Me," I said.
"YOU?!" she said.  With a little more incredulity than was necessary, in my opinion. :)

Yes, it's true.  I never liked potato salad as a child.  Not one bit.  But it's just because I didn't know it could be, you know, GOOD.  And because I have faith in the power of The Potato, one day I went into the kitchen determined to find A Better Way.  And I did.  (For one thing: NO PICKLES.  Please, no pickles!)  Now I look for any excuse to make this recipe (for the children!)---and now that it's Memorial Day, you have no reason not to make it too.

Even having disposed of the pickles, I anticipate another objection.  For some reason potato salad has a reputation of being unhealthy.  It's unfair to the poor potato.  It isn't even a "simple" carbohydrate!  I quote, "Unlike refined foods like white rice and white bread, potatoes are nutritious, whole, rich in fiber and totally unprocessed. The potato can be a great source of energy and nutrients, including vitamins C, B-6, and folate and fiber (4 grams when you eat the skin)."  They are also one of the best sources of potassium (better than bananas!), which helps muscle contraction, so all you pregnant women can avoid those dibilitating nightly leg cramps.  And what other muscles need help contracting?  YOUR HEART.  So if you have one of those, consider the potato.  Cui bono?  You do.

This salad (sorry to go on and on about the healthiness issue, which I don't usually discourse upon, but The Potato needs a Defender) is made mostly with plain nonfat yogurt and lots of fresh delicious herbs.  Mustard and red wine vinegar give it just a hint of sourness.  There's a tiny bit of mayonnaise just to hold it all together, and of course feel free to add hard-boiled eggs if you'd like a little more protein.  All in all, something you can feel quite pleased about making again and again!

Red Potato Salad

8-9 large red potatoes, diced (leave skins on)
1 c. plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. fresh chives, chopped, including blossoms if you have them
1 T. fresh dill
1 T. fresh tarragon (optional)
(substitute 1 t. dried of any of these herbs, if necessary)
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 T. red wine vinegar

Dice your potatoes and bring them to pressure in the pressure cooker.  Cook for 5 minutes.  (For all you without the beautiful benefits of a pressure cooker, just boil them for . . . however long you usually boil potatoes to soften them; I confess I've quite forgotten.)

While the potatoes are cooking, mix in a large bowl: yogurt, mayo, mustard, herbs, salt, and vinegar.  Stir it up and taste it.  Adjust seasonings as desired.

When the potatoes are done, drain them and then pour them into the yogurt mixture.  I like potato salad when it's hot and the potatoes mash up slightly, so I pour them straight in.  But if you like them firmer, cool them a bit first.  Stir it all up and you're done!  Serve warm or cold.  And don't feel guilty about it, not a bit!

Happy Memorial Day, friends!

8 comments:

  1. Happy M-Day to you, too, friend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Almost thou persuadest me to believe in potatoes. Almost. I like the salad with scallions and cheese and bacon and shredded carrots, too. The yogurt base intrigues me. I MIGHT try it. But I will NEVER think of placing the lovely "V" of fresh scallion greens in the bowl the way you did. I am a dull dang cook.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love potatoes, but I hate potato salad. So this might be something I could try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hate potato salad, but I love the way you've taken up the campaign of The Potato. What do you and your blog-followers say to a picnic?

    wv: caldworn. I feel like that should be a Tolkien character.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so excited that my word is POTANA! so close to potatoe! (or is it potato) haha. You say potatoe, I say potahto (remember those brothers? Chad and...esmerelda?
    I LOVE Potatoes and potato salad. But I was very disappointed by you disincluding the fine cucumber family from your salads. P. salads MUST have pickles in them. hmmm. Maybe I'll try your recipe, just to see if you are really right on this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am printing off your defense of potatoes and showing it to my husband. He refuses to eat them. EVER. If they are in soup, he eats everything else and leaves them in the bowl.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always like potato salad, but I've done my own alterations. For example, I use canola mayo. I think it's just as good as the original and so much better for you. Just a thought if someone is worried about it being bad for you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I thought everyone was using canola mayonnaise these days! :) We like it too.

    ReplyDelete