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Potato Salad For Celebrations


Grilled Potato Salad

Every year my friends throw a big potluck backyard barbecue that always has a theme. This year, it’s Mediterranean. I was asked to bring potato salad and decided upon this wonderfully crunchy Vegan Potato Salad with Celery and Arugula that is made with a vegan mayo-and-cider vinegar dressing.

Although traditional potato salad, like this great Classic Summertime Potato Salad, is always a favorite at a picnic or outdoor party, it’s fun to get creative by exploring a variety of flavors and ingredients. Here are some ideas and recipes:

  • Experiment with different types of potatoes like fingerling, sweet or purple potatoes. 
  • Add fresh herbs depending on your taste. Dill, basil, parsley, chives and thyme are all good possibilities. 
  • Go with a theme. Make it Italian by adding grilled yellow squash, zucchini and oregano or Asian with sesame seeds and green onions. Or perhaps French with Dijon mustard, thyme and maybe even a smidgen of lavender. Try our German Potato Salad featuring bacon and mustard and cider vinegar dressing, or our Russian Potato Salad made with peas, pickles, boiled eggs and chicken.
  • Change up the dressing. Rather than the typical mayonnaise dressing, this Grilled Potato Salad relies on the flavors of grilled tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, Greek yogurt and a bit of crumbled bacon. 
  • The vegetable possibilities are endless. Some of my favorites include onions (white, yellow or red), green onions or chives, celery, colorful bell peppers, grated carrots, cherry or grape tomatoes, slivered baby spinach or arugula, and a variety of grilled vegetables like summer squash, eggplant, asparagus, bell peppers, onions (sweet when grilled!), and more. Garden Potato Salad is studded with roasted green bell peppers.
  • For added protein, legumes such as pinto or white beans, cubed tofu or tempeh, chopped boiled eggs, chunks of grilled chicken or turkey or shrimp are good options. Have you tried our Potato and Egg Salad with piquillo peppers? Cubed ham or smoked turkey, marinated baked tofu or tempeh vegan “bacon” strips are also winners.
  • Serve your potato salad over leafy greens or sprouts, or roll a heaping spoonful up into lettuce wraps.
  • Add a little favorite barbecue sauce to your potato salad to kick it up a notch.
  • Add some cubed cheese like a favorite goat cheese or smoked Gouda. 
  • If you love olives, try adding Kalamata, black olives or stuffed green olives (pimento or garlic-stuffed). Check out this Potato Salad with Green Olives recipe for inspiration.
  • This Vinegar-Free Potato Salad gets its flavor from extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

The best potatoes for potato salad should stand up to boiling, roasting, grilling and refrigeration. Choose red potatoes, Yukon gold, Yellow Finn, and fingerling red potatoes that have a higher moisture content, while avoiding the starchier Idaho, Russet, or baking potatoes. 

Do you have a great idea or recipe for potato salad? Let me know in the comments section below.