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How-To

Potato Salad Grows Up

Match Yellow Finns, Red Bliss, and fingerlings with market-fresh ingredients for potato salads of substance

Fine Cooking Issue 16
Photos: Alan Richardson
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If your idea of potato salad is something made with skinless potatoes, mayonnaise, and perhaps a bit of chopped hard-boiled egg and celery, you’re in for a wild ride. Dorette Snover has always loved buying new potatoes from farmers’ markets, so there are always potato salads at her house. She is constantly developing new recipes for different types of salads; she adds interesting vegetables, unusual dressings and seasonings, seafood, meat, and even cheese to her salads. In her hands, the potato salad can be either a side dish or a main course.

Snover offers a few general and quite useful tips. She tells you what varieties of potato to buy for making potato salads (the ones that won’t fall apart when boiled and tossed); when to salt your potatoes; that you can make a salad with roasted potatoes; whether or not to skin the potatoes in your salad; how to speed cooking and drying; and how chilling can make cooked potatoes hold up better in a salad. She advises gentle handling of all potato salads, especially warm ones, which she hand mixes. She also reminds us that in summer, the potatoes can be made in advance, when the kitchen is cool.

Potato salads can be served warm or cool. Use creamy mayonnaise-based dressings on chilled potatoes for cold salads. Vinaigrettes may be used on warm or cool potato salads. Recipes include: Roasted Vegetable & Potato Salad with Oregano Relish & Feta; Tiny Potatoes with Bacon & Cayenne-Toasted Pecans; and Potato Salad with Seafood & Sweet Corn.

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