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Cooking Cove: Potato salad for summer get-togethers

By Barbara Beltrami

For me, no backyard barbecue, picnic, beach or pool party is complete without potato salad on the menu. And I don’t mean that gloppy stuff from the supermarket. I’m talking about freshly boiled potatoes dressed with mayonnaise or oil and vinegar and laced with whatever you want. Any variety of boiling potato with a waxy consistency will work; the younger and newer the potato, the better. With or without the skin, the potatoes should be cooked until fork tender, immediately immersed in cold water to stop their cooking, and dressed, unlike green salad, as soon as possible. The following recipes should see you through the coming holiday weekend and many a summer get-together.

Traditional Potato Salad

YIELD: Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

5 – 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes

1 cup homemade or Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (optional)

ADDRESSES:

Place potatoes in a 4-quart pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, immerse in cold water, then drain again and cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper; add potatoes, celery, onion and eggs, if using. Gently toss and serve warm or at room temperature if using immediately. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours. Serve with meat, poultry, fish or other salads.

Mediterranean Potato Salad

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings

INGREDIENTS:

7 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved

1 1/2 cups homemade or Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 roasted red peppers, fresh or from jar

1/2 pound fresh string beans, cooked

One 14-ounce can white beans rinsed and drained

One 6-ounce can oil-packed Italian belly tuna, drained and flaked

1/2 cup pitted black olives

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained

1 can rolled anchovies, drained

1/2 cup sliced ​​red onion

8-10 marinated artichoke quarters or halves, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

ADDRESSES:

In a large pot combine salted cold water and potatoes. Over medium-high heat bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, then drain again. When cool enough to handle cut potatoes into half-inch cubes; in a large bowl combine them with mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine and transfer to serving bowl. Add the peppers, string beans, white beans, tuna, olives, capers, anchovies, onion, artichokes, parsley, and basil in order given. Serve warm or at room temperature with cold cuts, crusty Italian bread, and cheese.

Potato Salad with Herbed Vinaigrette

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

3 pounds tiny new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 – 4 tablespoons dry white wine

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley leaves

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

2/3 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

ADDRESSES:

In a large pot combine cold salted water and potatoes. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again and set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl whisk together the salt and pepper, vinegar, wine, herbs and scallions; add oil and whisk vigorously. When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes 1/4” thick, and add to mixture, then toss gently. Serve warm or at room temperature with meat, poultry, fish or other salads.

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