American Classic: Potato salad is the perfect dish for a picnic or potluck

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No picnic or potluck is complete without potato salad. Whether it’s served warm, cold, creamy, cheesy or with a splash of vinegar, the dish is a true American cookout classic.

Potato salads are easy to make and even easier to pack full of flavor. Craft your own potato salad by cutting a delicious, Idaho potato into 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 the fork goes through the potato 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 the delicious dressing.

These decadent dishes are best eaten the day after they’re made to give the flavors time to meld. When you’re ready to serve your potato salad, keep it cold by placing your serving dish in a larger bowl filled with ice.

Family meals are always better with delicious, flavorful potatoes. Always look for the “Grown in Idaho” seal to be sure you’re buying genuine Idaho potatoes. For more recipes for salads and other potato dishes, visit www.


Potato Picnic Salad

Yield: 6 to 7 servings

For the Salad Dressing

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2/3 cup olive oil

For the Salad

3 pounds Idaho potatoes, about 7 medium

1/2 pound cooked green beans

12 cherry tomatoes

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled

1 cup cooked corn kernels

1/4 cup minced celery, about 1 stalk

1/4 cup pitted black olives

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For salad dressing, combine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic in a large salad bowl. Whisk in olive oil and set aside.

For the salad, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in large saucepan. Cook unpeeled potatoes in water for about 15 minutes until just fork tender. Drain potatoes and cool immediately under cold running water. While potatoes are cooling, cut green beans into 1-inch pieces; halve cherry tomatoes and quarter eggs. Combine beans, tomatoes and eggs with cooked corn and celery in bowl with the salad dressing. Peel cooled potatoes, then cut into 2-inch pieces and toss with the dressing.

Sprinkle salad with olives and chopped parsley just before serving.


Potato and Pesto Chicken Salad

Yield: 8 servings

2 pounds Idaho potatoes, well

scrubbed (peeled, if desired)

1 pound fresh green beans, washed

and trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce

3 to 6 cups mixed salad greens


Over high heat, in a large, heavy pot with tight-fitting cover, bring half a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise in 1/2-inch slices. Add potatoes to boiling water, cover and return to boiling; cook 3 minutes.

Add green beans to pot with potatoes and cook another 4 minutes; drain potatoes and beans and set aside. (Vegetables should be firm.)

In same pot, heat olive oil over high heat and cook chicken, stirring 6 to 8 minutes or until meat is completely cooked through. Remove from heat; stir in pesto sauce, then gently stir in potatoes and green beans, taking care not to break up vegetables. Serve salad warm or at room temperature on a bed of salad greens, if desired.

Old Fashioned Hot German Potato Salad

Yield: 6 servings

4 medium Idaho potatoes

2 bacon strips

1 diced Spanish onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 cup water

Boil potatoes in skins and peel while hot. Slice potatoes thinly. In large skillet, fry bacon until

crisp and remove from skillet. In bacon drippings, brown onion and celery. Stir in salt, sugar and cornstarch. Add vinegar and water. Stir in sliced potatoes; as sauce thickens while adding potatoes, more water may be needed. Transfer to serving dish and serve hot.


Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Yield: 2 quarts

4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled

1 pound bacon, crisply cooked, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (fat reserved, if desired)

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 cups grated or shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups sour cream (regular or low-fat)

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Cook whole potatoes in boiling, unsalted water until tender. Refrigerate until chilled, then chop into 1-inch pieces. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl along with the remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine. Add some of reserved bacon fat if desired. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Adjust seasoning prior to serving.

Note: Any condiments or toppings typically added to a loaded baked potato may be used for this recipe.


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