My mom makes the best potato salad. It's truly one of those dishes that regardless of its indulgent calorie profile, I would never tamper with. Some dishes are meant to be enjoyed in their original form. This, however, is not her potato salad, but it's equally delish in its own right.
When the US Potato Board approached ReDux about hosting a healthy potato salad challenge, I knew this would be one of my favorite recipe contests we'd hosted yet. Potato salad is a beloved summer side dish, but admittedly has some room for improvement. Not to say that the traditional mayo-based version has to be forever banished from your backyard bbq table, but why not change it up for not only nutrition, but taste's sake as well?
From a nutrition standpoint, I'm of the mindset that potatoes are really a no brainer. I've never been a bag fan of the "no white food" mantra potatoes have somehow gotten lumped into. A medium-size potato has just over 100 calories, more potassium than a banana and is rich in vitamin C. How anyone can argue that's not a nutritious option leaves me at a loss.
But it's probably potatoes' natural ability to allow for culinary experimentation that I treasure most (My Dad has always said that with just a little salt and pepper, every meal tastes better with a potato on the plate. I'm certain the feeling is genetic; a throwback to our Scots-Irish heritage.) A potato's mild taste and texture opens up an endless possibilities for flavor creations, almost like a blank canvas.
So I decided to paint my canvas with a combination I never tire of ... sundried tomatoes, basil & pesto. But even I was amazed at how wonderful this turned out! I made it before leaving on a long trip and was seriously contemplating a cooler full as a carry on :) [I kid, I kid... but it was amazingly tasty.]
I've found the key to a good chunky potato salad (if you are so inclined... my husband likes a more homogenous, small cube mixture) is to place the quarters in cold water, then bring to a boil. Just watch them carefully. Depending on the age of your potatoes, the variety & how much natural moisture they contain, you may need to take them out and drain them sooner/later.
And if sundried tomatoes aren't your favorite flavor combo, the good news is there is a gallery full of tasty choices filling up the end of this post. Be sure to check them out & let me know what you think!
Question-What do you consider a "classic" potato salad? Do you like mustard & boiled eggs in yours? (That's my husband's favorite!)
Sundried Tomato & Basil Potato Salad
Ingredients (6 to 8 servings)
- 28 ounces red new potatoes (I used "Enchanted Rose"), quartered
- 1/2 cup drained julianne-sliced sundried tomatoes in oil
- 1 tablespoon pesto
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Chardonnay or Champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
Place potatoes in a large boiler and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until just tender (about 10 minutes). Drain well and let cool at least 10 minutes.
Toss cooled potatoes with remaining ingredients.
Disclosure: Fleishman-Hillard Public Relations on behalf of the US Potato Board compensated The Recipe ReDux (co-owned by ReganMillerJones, Inc. and Teaspoon Communications), to sponsor this recipe contest. I am therefore not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions expressed are my own.