Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Ritual

Ladies and gentlemen, Papa Diva has turned off the No Potato Salad Sign; you are now free to make potato salad again.

I'll bet you're thinking this is some kind of joke, but I assure you he's deadly serious. We're all aware of certain necessary rules and regulations that we, as a society, abide by for the greater good. You know ... "do unto others as you would do to yourself", "if you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding", "don't wear white after Labor Day", etc. You get the drift.

And the most important of all: "thou shalt not serve potato salad prior to Memorial Day." Potato Salad has a season; a distinct window of serve-able legality. It begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. So sayeth Papa Diva, so knoweth all.

Divalicious Potato Salad:
  • 2 pounds unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. sweet pickle relish (or to taste)
  • pinch of salt
  • generous grinding of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 tbsp. plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large scallions, chopped
Place potatoes into a large stock pot, cover with water, salt the water generously, bring to a boil, and cook until just tender - approximated 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.

In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the white vinegar, red wine vinegar, celery salt, celery seed, relish, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine, then add the potatoes to the bowl and toss well with a large spoon or spatula to combine, making sure the potatoes are coated evenly. Allow the potatoes to cool while you prepare the rest of the dressing.

In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and dill, stirring well to incorporate. Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, add this mixture to the potatoes and toss well with a rubber spatula to coat evenly. Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for one hour or more. Just before you are ready to serve, add the chopped fresh parsley, chopped hard boiled egg and the scallions, stirring well to incorporate. Garnish the finished salad with a dusting of paprika and some additional chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately and promptly chill any unserved portion.

As written this recipe will serve 6 to 8.

And, frankly, its not really potato salad unless you serve it in one of these classic 1970's Pyrex bowls.

Now, I'm certain that most of you do not need a recipe for potato salad. I offer it here today so that, A.) you may now feel free to serve it with out repercussion and, B.) in case I have some small variation in my method which would interest you.

You should certainly feel free to skip the Greek yogurt and use only mayonnaise. I did that to reduce the fat and because I'm really not a mayo lover. And, hey, don't use the reduced fat stuff on my account either. If you're comfortable going whole hog, by all means have at it.

You will note the use of both celery salt and celery seed in the recipe. I happen to have both on hand and like the combination. Don't go out and buy a bottle of either just for this recipe. If you have only celery seed, just go ahead and use that - double the amount. Ditto for the celery salt.

This is a simple, classic version of potato salad. Perfect for any BBQ or grilling event. I hope you'll try it.

Happy Belated Memorial Day! And Happy Potato Salad Season, Papa Diva!

Bon appetit!


doggybloggy said...

crack out the linen its tater salad time!

Anonymous said...

But potato salad is so good! We cannot resign ourselves to seasonal eats of this one. It's a year round table topper.

The Diva on a Diet said...

It is indeed, doggy ... though the weather sure doesn't feel like it today!

Duo - Papa Diva loves rules! LOL

pixelgal said...

She kids you not, readers! Just yesterday Papa Diva was expounding to the multitudes that they could now lift the potato salad ban and once again prepare that delicious American staple. But rules were made to be broken and once again they were...due to lack of such a staple at our Memorial Day festivities this year. Fear not, though, there's lots of summer left and I can't wait to try this recipe. I'll just keep the yogurt a secret and he'll never know!

Heavenly Housewife said...

I totally agree, it looks awesome in a 70s bowl. I love pyrex and have a teeny weeny collection of cute little old pyrex bowls. Like you, I love to use Greek yogurt all the time. I often substitute if for mayonnaise and I don't find that it takes from the flavour. I think Greek yogurt is the coolest invention cause u can use it for sweet deserts or savoury potato salad!

Anonymous said...

Delicious potato salad! I love the Greek yogurt in it. Great recipe!

Astra Libris said...

Oh my goodness, I love your vintage pyrex!! Gorgeous!! (vintage pyrex is one of my many obsessions... :-)

Your potato salad is gorgeous!! High five for hardboiled egg in potato salad - an absolute must, in my mind! :-) I love your idea of adding Greek yogurt, too - sounds scrumptious and much more healthful, too!

Christie's Corner said...

I had no idea Memorial Day was the launch of potato salad season. The things I learn :-)

But the real question is, when can I wear white shoes?

Christy said...

Oh my gosh, I want some right now!

the wicked noodle said...

This looks soooo good! Great article!

stephchows said...

HAHAHA really??? None before memorial day?? Too funny :) Love the greek yogurt addition and LOVE LOVE the 1970's pyrex. I LOVE MY SET!

TavoLini said...

One can never go wrong with potato salad :)

This is slightly different than how we make ours--I'm interested in giving it a whirl!

Anonymous said...

Papa Diva believes in the chaos theory: If a butterfly flaps its wings in Minnesota it can cause a tornado in Hawaii. This is an actual theory in physics that states that little events can cause huge changes. So you can imagine the consequences of preparing and serving potato salad prior to Memorial Day.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Pixelgal - no potato salad on Memorial Day ... how can that be?!? Ah well, you have a few more months to give this one a try. ;)

HH - I couldn't agree more about the Greek yogurt. Its my absolute favorite and so very versatile!

5 Star - thank you! :)

Astra - thanks, I quite like that groovy green bowl too ... and I can't even recall where I got it. I agree about the egg inclusion too, its a must! Thank you!

Charmian - we may have to ask Papa Diva, but I believe white shoe season commences with potato salad season! LOL

Christy - thank you and welcome to Beach Eats!

Wicked Noodle - many thanks!

Steph - you've got a whole set of Pyrex? Color me jealous! LOL

TavoLini - thanks and welcome to Beach Eats! Let me know how it goes if you give it a try. :)

Anon - aka Papa Diva - one can only shudder at the possible consequences. The horror, the horror! ;) LOL

words...words...words... said...

My dad enacts a similar ban on Jersey white corn on the cob. It cannot be eaten until he visits the greengrocer and determines that the season has begun.

The Diva on a Diet said...

words words words - your dad and I would get along just fine ... I have similar local corn restrictions ... and I'm picky about it too!

The Wino said...

I needed you on monday! I must be the only foodie who does not have a potato salad recipe... I had to wing it, not bad, but yours had all the right stuff! I will try yours next time!

Deb said...

I gotta tell ya Diva that Papa Diva's rule has no place in Florida eating - potato salad is year round food here and I'm glad since I love it and love to make it. :)

Tangled Noodle said...

Potato salad really doesn't seem complete unless there's a grill fired up somewhere in the background! Thanks for the official go-ahead! I made a potato salad the other night and it was like a drink of water after wandering the desert! But it wasn't nearly as chock full of delicious ingredients as this.

Daily Spud said...

Ah this made me laugh - glad to know that I (of all people) now have Papa Diva's permission to make spud salad. That just makes my day :)