Posted by: A Part of the Solution | July 8, 2010

Two Potato Salads

While I’m not patriotic in the sense that I stand by my country’s policies right-or-wrong, I do believe in American food on American holidays–and I’ll back that belief to the last dish I ever prepare. This assertion is apropos our recent celebration of the Glourious Fourth. Happily, my definition of American food embraces any recipe from any culture which may be imitated or approximated to the delight of the eaters and the satisfaction of the preparer, i.e. me.

The roosters in our flock hit maturity just in time to become the centerpiece of our dinner on the 4th. They came back from their only off-campus trip on ice, legs sticking straight up and not a feather on them. They were as they had been in life: tough, lean and longer than they were wide. I chose a buttermilk brine for them which included crushed juniper berries, paprika and garlic, lots of garlic. This made them tender when we were done breading and frying them. MMmmm good!

I made a buttermilk dressed coleslaw, and a red cabbage spicy asian slaw. I also made two kinds of potato salad. I had lots of potatoes, a range of guests with different food preferences and dietary restrictions, and a fully stocked fridge. I like to extend myself. And I like for everyone to be able to have a full plate and no worries.

Pesto Potato Salad

2 lbs of russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1″ chunks

1/2 lb garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in 6″ lengths

1/3 cup pesto

1/4 cup mayonnaise, made with olive oil if possible

2 TBSP non-fat plain yogurt

Put the potatoes into salted water to cover. Add a lid to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let them go 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes and cool them in the fridge. Meanwhile, sear the scapes in a hot cast iron pan, turning with tongs as they scorch on one side and then the other. Remove each scape as it gets done. When they’re all seared, cut them into one inch lengths. Stir together the pesto, mayonnaise and yogurt. Gently combine the dressing with the scapes and potatoes. Chill another hour (or up to a day) and serve.

Traditional Potato Salad

2 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

2 stalks celery, scraped of its string and cut into 1/2″ pieces–leaves minced

2 green onions, minced

1/4 cup pickles, dill or sweet, in small dice

4 TBSP minced Italian parsley, divided

3 hardboiled eggs, chopped (optional)

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 TBSP sugar

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream, yogurt or tofu blended with a little water

Put the potatoes into salted water to cover. Add a lid to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let them go 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes and toss them with the vinegar. Set them in the fridge to cool for 20-30 minutes. Blend the last six ingredients together with half the parsley. Add the dressing, the rest of the parsley, the celery, the green onion, the pickle and the eggs (if using). Toss gently until thoroughly combined. Chill for one hour, or up to one day. Serve with pride.



  1. […] Pesto Potato Salad with fingerling potatoes, and only half smash them before adding the pesto dressing. Make Thai […]

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