The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.20.05


Potato Salad Days

What says summer more than potato salad? If you could identify the most frequent side dish served in the great outdoors, this common salad would definitely rank Number One in the world.

Potato salad is international in scope and the many variations produced globally make for many interesting versions in each country. Is there a common theme in these salads? Onions are popular as are garlic, parsley, and mayonnaise.

Americans rely heavily on mayonnaise versions with hardboiled eggs, and European versions include wonderful additions such as lots of fresh herbs and olive oil vinaigrette. Whether served warm or cold depends on the variety and most agree that, no matter what version is offered, potato salad provides an easy and economical way to feed a crowd.

I'm including two slightly different versions here for you to make for your next outdoor gathering or for a bring-along to a pool party.

Caesar Potato Salad

1 pound small red potatoes, cut into fourths (4 cups)
1-cup cut-up green beans
1/3-cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 cup Caesar dressing
1/4-teaspoon salt
3 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
Romaine leaves

Place potatoes and beans in 2-quart saucepan; cover with water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Mix mayonnaise, Caesar dressing and salt in large bowl. Add potatoes, beans, bacon and eggs; stir gently. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve on romaine leaves.

Too Cool Potato and Vinaigrette Salad

2 1/4 pounds small new potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-teaspoon sugar
8 radishes -- thinly sliced
4 green onions -- thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced

Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and cool until lukewarm. Cut potatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle wine over potatoes. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add vinegar, mustard and sugar and stir to blend. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Add radishes, green onions, and parsley and remaining 1 tsp of olive oil; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Mound salad on a platter and surround with cucumber slices.