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Dr. Potato Addresses Summertime Salad Doldrums

Q:

In my extended circle of family and friends I am usually the one who volunteers to make potato salad for all the summertime events. Having just finished up with Memorial Day weekend, I found that the regulars at these get-togethers really love my Mom’s Southern Style Potato Salad. However, the younger generations in particular just look at this as “same old, same old” and often skip it. What can I do to jazz up the usual ingredients of Idaho Russet potatoes, salad dressing or mayonnaise, celery, onion, pickles, mustard, sliced hard boiled eggs with a little paprika sprinkled on top? I’m going to do this again for the Fourth of July and then there’s Labor Day weekend. Signed, I’m bored.

A:

The answer is quite simple…don’t abandon tradition! People may have their minds set on the taste profile. You could do ½ mayo and ½ sour cream instead, or add some crispy fried onion strings or bacon bits sprinkled on top, or make a version of a loaded baked potato salad like this:

Loaded Baked Idaho® Potato Salad

The easiest solution might be to make two potato salads, and the Idaho potato growers would love that concept! One is “expected” and the other might be a vinaigrette based salad, or spicy, smoky, ethnic or loaded with other vegetables.

To get you started, I’ve included a number of potato salad recipes below. In addition, I’d like to share some of the gourmet/ethnic/functional and multiple choice flavor trends to see if something inspires you to be creative with that second salad preparation:

  • Add Different Spices to Your Potato Salad (some of these you may have to look up or buy at an ethnic grocery store): 
  • Chimichurri, coriander, curry, dashi, furikake, ginger, garam masala, gochujang, harissa, piri piri, sriracha, togarashi, saffron and Spanish paprika
  • Add a Fruit or Vegetable (especially to vinaigrette based dressings) 
  • Broccoli or cauliflower, green tomato, ghost pepper, mango, wasabi, even a salsa verde could make that second potato salad pop with color and flavor.

Here are some additional Idaho® potato salads that reflect current flavor trends:

Cooking trend - Fire, Smoke and Insta Pot:

Smoked® Idaho Potato Salad

Put a smoky twist on a summer-time classic with apple wood chips.

 

Rainbow Panzanella Salad with Idaho® Potatoes

Traditional panzanella salad is full of juicy, fresh tomatoes, and stale or toasted bread that soaks up all the delicious dressing.

 

Cooking trend - Ethnic:

Nepalese Idaho® Potato Salad

Chukauni, a yogurt-based potato salad from the hilly region of Palpa in midwestern Nepal.

 

Idaho® Potato and Avocado Salad Arepas 

A vegetarian take on a classic Venezuelan dish that is not only easy to make, but hearty and very satisfying. Savory corn cakes filled with a delicious potato and avocado salad.

 

Idaho® Fingerling Potatoes with Shishito Peppers and Asian Spices

Flavor trend charts would love this take on shishito peppers, shichimi togarashi and fresh ginger.

 

Vegan Brazilian Idaho® Potato Salad

Brazilian potato salad made vegan using a special salt that tastes like eggs.

 

Cooking trend - Warm or Room Temperature:

Oven Roasted Idaho® Potatoes with Herbed Pecans

Potatoes roasted until crispy then tossed with toasted, herbed pecans and a honey mustard pecan dressing.

 

Roasted Idaho® Potatoes, Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette

Potatoes, cauliflower and chickpeas are roasted until deliciously caramelized, then tossed with a bright olive and lemon dressing.

 

Indian Idaho® Potato Salad

This dish is a whole meal in itself with flavorful Indian spices, carrots, peas, and chickpeas.

 

Middle Eastern Idaho® Potato Salad

 

Skilled Idaho® Potato Salad with Bacon and Arugula

Similar to a warm German potato salad, Paleo and gluten-free.

 

Cooking trend - Traditional with Another Look:


Pimento Cheese Idaho® Potato Salad with Fried Chicken Tenders and Potato Cheddar Dill Biscuits

Potato salad gets a spicy makeover when it meets all the components for pimento cheese.

 

Deviled Egg Idaho® Potato Salad

 

Idaho® Potato and Zucchini Salad

A vinaigrette dressing but with lots of vegetables!

 

Idaho® Potato Salad Deviled Eggs

A fun take on combining potato salad and deviled eggs, served on an appetizer sized half mini potato.

 

Cooking trend - Peas, Lentils and Beans:

Idaho® Potato and Lentil Salad

Served over a bed of salad greens, with fresh herbs this shouts out Summertime!