You Say Potato Salad - I Say Potahto Salad - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

You Say Potato Salad – I Say Potahto Salad

June 14, 2011 at 9:40 am | Posted in Daring Cooks, Dinner, Fruit, Lunch, Salads, Vegetables | 55 Comments
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I’m willing to guess that a good portion of Americans have grown up with potato salad.  I’m also willing to guess that the potato salad most of us have grown up with is mayonnaise based.  Thick, gloppy, slightly sweet, supermarket containers of potato salad, or your Aunt Rose’s or neighbor’s homemade thick, gloppy, slightly sweet, mayonnaise based potato salad, with lots of egg – one that would inevitably sit out in the sun for hours, (though no one ever contracted or died of staphylococcus or salmonella), at every Sunday or summer BBQ.

Once in a while, someone would shock the suburban BBQ system and show up with a German potato salad, 100% vinegar mayonnaise. We’d all slowly circle this alien bowl of potatoes without the creamy glop we were so used to.  You could actually see the potatoes, and they were actually the color of peeled potatoes, not mysterious lumps blanketed beneath a white dressing with bits of eggs, celery, and onions.

“Are you gonna try it?”

“No, you try it first and tell me if it’s good”

Inevitably, someone would try it, usually me, and although it wasn’t palate was trained on creamy, thick mayonnaise dressing, so after the initial scrunch face from the acidity of the the vinegar…

“Ummm…I don’t know..not really potato salad to me, too vinegary

Before I go on, this month’s Daring Cooks challenge is pretty cool.  it’s partly a contest, with prizes and a chance to get your recipe out there via the US potato board…

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

Thankfully, palates break from the traditional and change as we grow, but I knew I was still in the ‘rut’ at 18, when an ex-BF’s mom promised us a BBQ and some homemade potato salad when we returned from the beach.  As the day went on and my hunger grew (residual, secondhand smoke from his daily uhhh..toke ..errr, smoke, catapulted that hunger), visions of creamy potato salad swirled through my head, served with a juicy burger, some of the mayonnaise from the side of potato salad smearing on  the bun, making each bite a blended delight.  I also couldn’t wait to slap some of that creamy potato salad on my burger.  Have you ever tried that?  If not, I recommend you do.

I think you know where this is going.

When Mama of Ex-Dreamboat appeared through the haze of charcoal smoke, like an angel from heaven, carrying a big, red bowl undoubtedly filled with loads of creamy, eggy potatoes, just waiting to melt on my tongue my stomach started rumbling, like a teen’s souped-up vintage car.  I ran to her to ‘help’ by taking the bowl from her and placing it on an empty spot on the table, right in front of me..I wanted first dibs.

When the burgers were ready, I pulled off the foil excitedly.  Oh no. It was like hitting a whammy on Press Your Luck, and this sound blared loud and clear in my head.  It was German potato salad, in all of it’s vinegary glory.

“Did you know my Mom was German?” Dreamboat asked while scooping up a heaping portion of this vinegary disappointment.

“No, Dreamboat, I didn’t, but now I do.” I replied, smiling, but secretly feeling miserable.

I almost sneezed when the vinegar hit my nasal cavities, but at least my watery eyes disguised the real tears that could have come at any moment, since the disappointment was so fierce.  I smiled and said “Wow, looks great”.  I may as well have admitted I was personally responsible for the breakdown of the ozone layer, because that’s how disingenuous it sounded.   I begrudgingly took a whole tablespoon of the potato salad, and pretended to enjoy it immensely.

Fast forward to college and thereafter.   My palate finally took a step off the beaten path, and kept walking. I now appreciate a good potato salad without mayonnaise – warm or cold.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love a mayo-based potato salad, but I was finally able to take some potato forks in the road and appreciate all kinds of preparations. A mayo-free blue cheese- apple potato salad became my go to in my 20′s..even at Sunday BBQ’s, no matter how horrified some traditionalist appeared when I showed it off, pleading with them to “ …just taste it!”

Well..I’ve taken that route again, but in a much healthier way.  I came up with a Mango-Ginger (You can substitute apple for the mango, just as good and crunchier) potato salad with only 2 tablespoons of low fat mayonnaise, and fat-free Greek yogurt, minus the blue cheese.  Creamy without all the extra calories and fat, and loaded with flavor and texture.  I would have omitted the mayonnaise completely if not for missing it a bit after a few tastes.  It needed that creamy egg and oil component so it wouldn’t taste completely like yogurt with fruit, shallots, and potatoes.  It was one of those scour the fridge and ‘create’ moments, and I think it worked out quite well, if I may brag a bit. It’s got it all, fruity, savory, soft, creamy, crunchy and a little sweet heat from the ginger.  So far, no horrified looks, just thumbs up.  Try it..I know you want to at least taste it.

For my warm potato salad, an idea struck at the last minute – like last night last minute.  I remembered this amazing spicy, chile, lime, honey lobster noodle salad I had, created by renowned chef and owner of many fabulous restaurants, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  The dressing on the lobster and noodles was to.die.for – sweet, savory, spicy and tart.  I decided to adapt this dressing to a potato-lobster salad, eliminating a few ingredients, and changing the measurements to bode well with the amount of potatoes and lobster I was using.  WOW, I’m so happy with how this turned out.  I couldn’t stop taking forkfuls even hours after I ate.  Once again, you’ve got to try it.  You can substitute shrimp, crab, scallops or even monk fish, for the lobster.  Oh, did I mention this one was also healthy?

Well…that’s it for my two new potato salads.  To see all the unique and creative potato salads my fellow Daring Cooks came up with, click on the links to their blogs, HERE.  To see and try a variety of recipes for all kinds of healthy potato salads from all over the world, click HERE.

 Low-Fat Greek Yogurt Potato Salad, loaded with all kinds of good stuff.

Mango OR Apple Potato Salad
2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup Greek, plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 mango, OR 1 small to medium, tart apple, peeled and diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
1 red jalapeno chile, seeded and diced (optional)
1 red or orange bell pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and diced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint or parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Toasted cashew nuts, chopped (optional)

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook over high heat until tender, about 9 minutes. Drain, gently shaking out the excess water. Spread on a baking sheet,to cool then place in a bowl and drizzle with two tablespoon of cider vinegar, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the coldest part of refrigerator for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise until smooth. Add the mango or apple, garlic, chile, ginger, roasted pepper, shallots, and mint or parsley. Fold in the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and let chill, covered, for several hours or overnight, to let the for flavors meld.

3. Sprinkle with toasted, chopped cashews and serve. Can be refrigerated up to 2 or 3 days.

Warm  & Spicy Chile Lime Potato Lobster Salad
Dressing adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, with my revisions

2 lbs red bliss or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lobster tail, cooked, shelled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, diced
kosher salt
1 red bell pepper
1 fresh long red hot chile (I used a thai bird)
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges, for serving
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Asian chile sauce, such as sambal oelek
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, toasted
2 tablespoons thinly sliced mint leaves
2 tablespoons thinly sliced cilantro leaves

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook over high heat until tender, about 9 minutes. Drain, gently shaking out the excess water. Let cool spread on a baking sheet,to cool.  Cut up lobster tail and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, shallots and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and shallots are golden, 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

3. Roast the red pepper and chile directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning occasionally, until charred all over. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Peel the pepper and chile and discard the stems and seeds; cut into 1/4-inch dice and transfer to the bowl with the shallot mixture. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, sambal oelek and sesame oil. Heat up the dressing so it’s very warm, but not quite hot.  Season the dressing with salt.

4.  Pour the warm dressing over the cooled potatoes (it’s important that one is hot and one cold, so the potatoes absorb most of the dressing) and lobster chunks.  Let sit at room temperature for about an hour so the potatoes can absorb the dressing, tossing occasionally. Top with chopped, toasted peanuts, mint, cilantro and serve warm.

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  1. You’ve got to be kidding me! First, the challenge is a brilliant one! What fun. Second, no one will come close to these recipes. Talk about OUT OF THE BOX! Both sound outrageously delicious – and I do believe there were no kitchen disasters in the process, right?
    I am definitely making BOTH of these this summer. I do have my standard one (don’t we all?) and then I love to mix it up, but never use a recipe – just my imagination and what is in the fridge and in the garden. However, these recipes beg more respect, and I will definitely be using them in the future summer months!

  2. I’m happy to report I’m an equal-opportunity potato salad eater. Mayo or no, I like them all. The lighter version with mango sounds delightful, and the chile lime lobster warm version I need to taste right now. Love those flavors!

  3. Both potato salads are extraordinary! Very original and so tempting. You are such a creative cook.



  4. Absolutely stunning… these recipes would qualify for five star restaurants. I want to eat these now and your photos are awesome as always. Great job… what time is dinner : )

  5. Wow, I love the plating of the Potato Lobster salad but the Mango Lime is so intriguing! I can almost taste the wonderful flavors! Excellent job on this challenge!

  6. Yum! Both your creations are amazing..
    I will definetly have to try them out soon..
    I think I will give apple and ginger a try over the weekend
    Thank you for sharing such amazing recipes

  7. Oooh – they both look and sound delicious, but anything mango and ginger is pretty much bound to get my attention the quickest!! :) And I am with you – growing up, potato salad meant mayo. Any other kind was just some kind of potato side dish, not a potato salad!! :) Awesome job and super recipes!!

  8. Aha, I’m the other way round. Not a big fan of cold, mayonnaisey potato salads, but I think I could be swayed. Yours are works of art. Spicy chile lime lobster potato salad? Holy crap, I need to lie down. The plating is stunning too.

  9. Wow! I love both your potato salads! Very creative!

  10. I love your creativity. Very mouthwatering :)

  11. So true! Um…are you gonna try it? I will if you do…

    These look amazing! Love me a warm potato salad. And lobster?? Stop it already.

  12. Lisa, both potato salad look delicious…love the mango in the cold one and the warm one with lobster cannot go wrong. Beautiful presentation as always. Have a great week :-)

  13. What an awesome challenge! Your mango potato salad would be my choice…the fruit makes it all sorts of summery :)

  14. Wow! Those look great! Way to think outside the bowl

  15. Phew!! Lisa, your po-tah-toe salad recipes came just in the nick of time! Love ‘em both, but as fate would have it, wouldn’t you know it?? I’ve been challenged by Bobby Fway to a Throwdown at the Funtown Pier! The subject: Yup, potato salad. So now me thinks I’ll preempt his usual over-the-top-ness by nuking him with *your * lobster salad recipe!! (I will credit YOU only after I receive the trophy :-) P.S. – The peanuts are an interesting tweak – might this be your version of a “Thai Potato Salad? You’re welcome.

  16. This has got to be amazing! I cannot wait to it. Bookmarked!

  17. Lobster potato salad! OMG that sounds amazing.

  18. oh wow. the lobster potato salad sounds AMAZING!! what an incredibly awesome idea!

  19. I want lobster potato salad! And don’t be passing me any of that vinegary stuff, either! Gorgeous stuff this month, and what, no fire/plague? I’m very impressed. I was a bit uninspired this month, not loving the tubers in any form.

  20. Hi Lisa,
    Your potato salads look amazing. Love the idea of adding mango to it and replacing mayo with yogurt. Thinking of trying it soon.
    And the lobster tail one, I better keep hubby away from the PC or I have to make that one asap and I hate shellfish :))))
    thanks for sharing

  21. Wow, these sound so different and delicious too. I so like the idea of healthier potato salad. I’m a picky potato salad girl, I hate the store bought stuff. I think both sound like winners to me in the potato salad world I hope you get a shot at winning with these recipes. Wishing I was at your house for left overs right now!

  22. Gorgeous!!! Great job – these look beautiful and flavorful!

  23. […] Potato Mango Ginger Salad, Parsley Sage Desserts and Line Drives Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad, Family Spice […]

  24. I liked both of them, both are creative and well plated, can’t wait to try them all, thanks for sharing your ideas.

  25. Holy crap Lisa! The mango ginger salad sounds SO freaking delicious. What an incredible combo of fresh, cool ingredients; perfect for summer! Will definitely need to try it soon!

  26. Potato lobster salad?! Really?! I’m so making this one, what a perfect summer salad!

  27. OMG! Your lobster potato salad looks so-o-o-o-o-o gorgeous. What a nifty idea!

  28. Oh they both look so good. I love the lightness of the first and I am a sucker for anything with ginger or mango. The second is brilliant. And right n the middle of the peak of lobster season…we at least here it is. I am planning on buyng lobster soon so may consider this salad. Great inspiration!

  29. I love the lobster salad. Never thought of it this way and I loved the photos. Definitely something for the future to make.

  30. I followed a link from Twitter and wow, how beautiful and creative! I really want to try the mango-ginger looks so creamy and wonderful!

  31. Dear LORD that sounds so frakin’ delish!! I think I think I just had a mouth-gasm >.<

  32. I would pleasantly try them both! They look amazing, and I’m sure delicious. I love your story around the potato salads haha.
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my salad, I don’t even think I deserve it due to the lack of creativity, but you touched my heart :)

  33. Digging both your potato salads, they’re so pretty and I bet they taste great!

  34. Fun story! I love German Potato Salad; I grew up eating it and Mom always made it in the microwave no less.

    Both of your potato salads look great. I’m particularly interested in the mango-ginger one, even though it scares me a tiny bit. I might have to take the dive and try it anyway.

  35. I know what you mean about vinegar-ey potato salad.

    Using Greek yogurt is a wonderful idea and I love the addition of mango, mint, ginger , cashew and hot pepper. Inspired!

  36. Your inventions are fantastic, Lisa!! Absolutely love both of these clever combinations. :-) I remember the first time I had warm potato salad in Denmark. It was so exotic at the time and I loved it. :-) They served it with fried eel. Yipes!

  37. Ok. I’ve decided. The oscar for the “most creative use of my favorite ingredients” goes to… YOU!
    Mango was delicious enough, but LOBSTER! Fantastic! Great job on the challenge!

    I’m so sorry to have discovered your blog AFTER you stopped writing about baseball.
    I love baseball! I’m a displaced Little League Mom, myself.
    And, unfortunately because of how my team has been decimated, a Diamondback fan.
    I won’t hold the Yankee thing against you, tho’.

    I look forward to talking with you about food and baseball. I’ll send you a “tweet” I’m Southwestgirl
    and yes… this is long, but no… I’m not a stalker!

  38. Hehe your story is very funny Lisa! It reminds me of the first time I served a German potato salad too! Some people just are obsessed with the creamy mayo (which I love too). I also served one hot and that baffled many. Yours looks wonderful! :D

  39. Love the story about the vinegary salad with the sound effect – too funny. I totally agree: that stuff we grew up on in containers…. pass. Now your potato salads are sensational and definitely on another level. Mango and ginger? Count me in!

  40. My goodness, you have certainly raised the bar on potatoe salad. You’ve given it a total touch of luxe, and I’m all for that. Let me at that lobstah one right now!
    *kisses* HH

  41. I like the lobster salad served in the shell like that! the mango in the potato salad is something I’d love to try!!

  42. Great recipes!! Both are very appetizing. Definitely something worth cooking.
    Have a great Sunday!

  43. They are both beautiful and delicious; I really love the one on lobster. I’m drooling just looking at it.:)

  44. You did it again Lisa…you’ve wowed me with your uniqueness in your private lab…incredibly appetizing recipes and presentations ;o)
    I’d certainly need to pick you out of a line up and grab you for my winning culinary team ;)

    Have a fabulous week.
    Flavourful wishes,

  45. Saw your lobster potato salad on foodgawker..yum. I’m loving the originality with the mango and ginger in your cold potato salad. Who would ever think of that? I can tell its delicious. Looking forward to making it and tasting

  46. Lisa, you continue to rock my world with your brilliant, amazing, creative cooking. Someday, please, please can I come to your house? I promise to wash the dishes, even if you are like me and utterly distort the kitchen every time you make dinner.

    Your potato salads look amazing. Mango and ginger sounds cool and refreshing, an exotic twist that would be perfect at a luau! And your creamy spicy lobster salad has me intrigued, even though I traditionally am very apathetic about things that come from the sea.

    Wonderful job!

  47. I’m coming to your house and I’m bringing my fork. These salads just jump off the screen and beg me to follow your directions!

  48. I’ll never look at potato salad the same way again…these are outstanding in teh flavor department!

  49. Oh Lisa, I am drooling at the sound of the warm potato salad with the lobster, mmmm! So glad you gave us all those health facts about potatoes. I can eat potatoes ANY way. But I do love a good gloopy mayonaissy version. Having said that, I once ate a very simple warm salad where new potatoes were roasted in their skins until quite wrinkled, seasoned, then dressed with lemon juice. It was a bit of a shock when I put the first spud in my mouth, wasn’t expecting the sour hit, but after that, couldn’t get enough :)

  50. Looks muy delicioso! I like the lobster potato salad alot!

  51. What a great idea to have a challenge and a contest rolled into one! It really would get everyone to put their creative thinking caps on, no?

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your ideas, as always. I must admit I’m not a huge stodgy potato salad fan. So very keen to try some of your ideas here. Funny, I did have a Japanese inspired potato salad yesterday at a little blogger picnic (it was served with chicken katsu – YUM!).

    Maybe for our next picnic, I can turn up with one of your creations! :)

  52. I love potato salad in many forms, but the one I grew up with was mayonnaise based. it’s still my favorite (mayo, mustard, pickle juice, pickle relish, onions and celery) but I do embrace potato salad diversity. Both of your potato salads look fabulous- what a great challenge! :)

  53. Quick Tip: An hour before cooking, keep the lobsters in refrigerator. They will be in a deep state of sleep. Remove them from the refrigerator just before cooking. This is also good cause their tails don’t twitch when cooking. I heard you can hypnotize them too?! funny, eh?

  54. Re: The person who made the statement that this was a good website really needs to have their head analyzed.

    • A person who posts comments like this anonymously is a COWARD. Climb back into your little hole, wimp.

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