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What Exactly Is A “Modern Potato Salad”… And Please Share Some Recipes!

Q:

I recently heard the term “Modern” used in conjunction with potato salad and wondered exactly what does that mean? Do you have any Idaho® potato salad examples to share? 

A:

Modern? There’s no “M” in potato salad. Unless you count the billions of pounds of potato salad made with mayonnaise sold every year at delis across the USA, or fixed for holidays such as Memorial Day, Father’s Day and July 4th. The “M” word still stands for a great tasting creamy potato salad, especially when combined with peeled Idaho® russets, which have been cut into chunks and then boiled to cook evenly. They become part of the thickening of the salad as the mayonnaise is folded in and when the potatoes are still warm they sop up the flavors and spices making for a traditional picnic favorite. Almost any BBQ joint worth visiting has a side potato salad available, whether russets, reds or yellows – most have traditionally been made with mayonnaise. 

However, that’s what all your guests might expect. Contemporary potato salad can mean different textures, fresh herbs, more color, skin-on potatoes (red, yellow, fingerlings or Idaho® russets). Think citrus flavor enhancers like lemon or lime, instead of pickle relish used brined Kalamata olives or marinated roasted red peppers and even spicy peppers beyond jalapeno. Fresh herbs such as basil, chives work well in modern salads. Adding pork belly instead of bacon, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead of white puts a twist on the familiar but keeps it comfortable too.

A Selection of Modern Potato Salads
Even though potato salads are a standard side dish in the summer months, they can still be one of the most unique offerings on an operators menu too. Sometimes presentation is everything and that holds true for the Spiral Potato Salad. Rather than diced, the potatoes, along with other fruit and vegetables, are ribboned and served with a light dressing. Korean Potato Salad is a simple recipe but bold in flavor. Yukon Gold potatoes are tossed with ginger, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to create a low-calorie, versatile side. The Idaho Potato Commission has close to 100 potato salad recipes all using a variety of ingredients ranging from lobster to tabouli to Brussels sprouts. The flavor combinations are limitless!