Exploring vegan, vegetarian and sustainable cooking

Create your own potato salad

Source: Fine Cooking #106 (also at

Every now and then, Fine Cooking comes out with a “create your own recipe” special that is great for throwing together a dish with pantry scraps. The recent create your own potato salad recipe has proven to be a valuable asset for weekday lunches or a quick dinner side dish.

As with all these create your own instructions, it starts with a base. In this case, it’s potatoes and two types of dressing: a vinaigrette and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. Then they list dozens of recommended additions, from flavour-boosters for the dressing, to vegetables, to meats, to garnishes. Recommended amounts of each ingredient are provided (so you don’t end up putting in too much onion, for example), as well as recommended total amounts for a group of ingredients (so you don’t end up offsetting the balance of the salad).

If you’re not so keen on haphazardly throwing ingredients together, they provide a number of recommended ingredient combinations. I’ve tried four. My favourite is bacon, pickles and caraway. The Indian-inspired version with chickpeas, cilantro and Indian spices is also delicious, as is the smoked trout, sweet onion and horseradish version. I also tried the combination with shrimp, celery and tarragon, but while fresh, it lacked the depth of the other combinations I tried.

So with this potato salad guide in hand, I’ve now made it a habit of keeping red potatoes on hand. Potato salad leftovers are never a bad thing to have in the fridge.

Potato salad with bacon, pickles and caraway seeds
Potato salad with bacon, pickles and caraway seeds
Potato salad with shrimp, celery and tarragon
Potato salad with shrimp, celery and tarragon

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