My Top Three Potato Salad Recipes for Labor Day

Picnic Side Dishes

Ah, potato salad. The absolute wonders of potato salad. So many choices, so many styles! Different kinds of potatoes. Different drippy dressings. Different shapes. Wildly different potato salad flavors include the pungent pop of vinegar; creamy concoctions comprised of mayonnaise, hard-cooked egg, and sour cream; the salty, smoky kiss of bacon; and the crispy, crunchy bite of finely chopped onion and celery. All very different — and all very, very delicious.

Let’s face it. Potato salad is pretty much everyone’s favorite side dish for cookouts. (Boozed-up watermelon or anything with the word shooter in it doesn’t count.) There’s just nothing like homemade potato salad. It’s the comfort food summer equivalent of mashed potatoes. In fact, some potato salads seem to be just that — chilled mashed potatoes that are whipped with mayonnaise instead of butter. (And, I don’t say this is necessarily a bad thing.)

In this post, I’m sharing with you my three all-time favorite potato salad recipes for you to consider as side dishes for your Labor Day Weekend. One’s a bit on the gourmet side with fancy potatoes. The second is cheffed-up with a couple different cooking techniques and a warm bacon dressing. The third recipe is the one I grew up with — my Mama’s potato salad — a big, delicious, old-fashioned bowl of down-home comfort.

I’m certain you’ll enjoy one — or all three! Let me know what you think. Lastly, here are a few more posts that might be helpful this Labor Day Weekend: how to cook ribs, slow-smoking a pork butt, 5 burger recipes on Ty Pennington, grilled fish for the pescatarians, and my deviled eggs on Food52. Happy Labor Day, everybody! Be safe.

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Fingerling Potato Salad

Serves 6 to 8

3 1/2 pounds fingerling or red bliss potatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To cook the potatoes, place them in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander. While still warm, transfer the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the vinegar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, and mustard in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, add the cooled potatoes, onion, celery, and parsley to the dressing and stir to combine and coat. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 6 to 8

3 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes (about the size of a walnut, halved)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 slices center-cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons firmly packed brown sugar
8 scallions
2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs, such as marjoram, basil, or parsley, plus more for garnish

Heat grill to medium-high. Line a plate with paper towels.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water by 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until easily pierced with a knife, 14 to 16 minutes. Drain and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to prepared plate with a slotted spoon.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from skillet. Off the heat, add garlic, vinegar, and brown sugar to the drippings in the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Grill potatoes cut-side down until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Grill scallions, turning occasionally, until charred, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop scallions into 1-inch pieces.

Place potatoes and scallions in a bowl and toss with the reserved dressing to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon, and toss to coat. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs. Serve immediately.

Mama’s Potato Salad

Serves 6 to 8

5 russet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups reduced fat mayonnaise
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet or dill pickle relish
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large pot and add water to cover; season with 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well. While still warm, transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and drizzle with vinegar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, place eggs in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out the hot water and cover the eggs with ice-cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle before peeling. Once the eggs have cooled, remove the shells by tapping each egg gently on the counter or sink all over to crackle it. Roll an egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel, starting at the large end, while holding the egg under cold running water; this facilitates peeling. Grate the eggs through the large holes on a box grater or finely chop them.

Combine mayonnaise, celery, onion, pickle relish, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes and grated eggs; stir to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Fingerling Potato Salad by Ellen Silverman modified from Bon Appétit Y’all
Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette by John Kernick
Mama’s Potato Salad by Eating Well


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Copyright © 2016 Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc.

southern food, labor day weekend, picnic side dishes, potato salad, southern chef,

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