Potatoes have a bad reputation. They’ll make you fat. They’re a nightshade vegetable. They’ll raise your blood sugar. They’re a white simple carbohydrate so we shouldn’t eat them. I turn up my nose at all of that. Potatoes are the bomb!!
They’re an amazing source of potassium, vitamin B6, copper, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B3 and fiber and these are all things we need more of. Due to the high amount of processed food people in America eat, most don’t get enough potassium in their diet and this can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Sadly, when people eat potatoes the most common way they eat them is fried, as in french fries and potato chips. It’s not the potatoes fault we choose these horrendous versions of them. Poor potatoes.
But if you keep the skin on (organic and well scrubbed), pair potatoes with protein and eat a moderate serving of them in a non-deep fried version, they can be part of a healthy diet. Potatoes are a whole food. A single ingredient. From the earth. These are all good things. I’d much rather see people eating potatoes they made at home, than purchasing processed white hamburger rolls, pasta, white rice etc. Please don’t put the potato in the same category as these white simple carbs. It’s really all about making good choices. If you’re going to eat a huge helping of potato salad and have two hot dogs on white rolls – yeah, you’re going to have a massive blood sugar spike and feel like crap (especially after you top it all with a bowl of ice cream). But if you have a moderate serving of potato salad, with some grilled chicken or a burger on a portobello mushroom cap (and with some veggies), you’re going going to fare much better (even if you do have a little ice cream later). It’s actually pretty simple. Just eat smartly and you can enjoy potatoes for a good dose of potassium and fiber.
My love for the potato grows strong this time of the year because it’s cookout season and that means lots of opportunities for it’s appearance in cold salads. While a creamy, mayo or buttermilk drenched salad is delicious occasionally (especially if there are delicious herbs and veggies in there), sometimes my stomach churns at the thought of yet another overly mayonnaised potato salad. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of mayo (the homemade kind) but come on, sometimes it seems like some recipes are just potatoes and mayo. That’s ridiculous. That is not a recipe. That is phoning it in. Driving to the store and buying premade pasta salad would actually take more effort. When I feel mayo-ed out, I turn to German Potato Salad to change things up.
This isn’t a fancy recipe and you don’t need much to make it, some yukon or red potatoes, vinegar, oil and then some herbs or veggies. Maybe some mustard (and bacon if you are feeling it). You probably have all the ingredients already in your kitchen. So for those times when you just might dump the whole bowl of mayo salads over the head of their maker, you can smile and hand them this instead.
2 – 2.5 lbs Medium sized Organic Red Potatoes (or Yukon Gold)
3 scallions, sliced thinly
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
a big handful of fresh organic parsley, chopped (or 2 tbsp dried)
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp white vinegar*
1 tsp dijon or whole grain mustard
1 tsp salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
Wash the potatoes well, cut them in half and boil in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes (until they give slightly with a fork). When they are mostly tender, drain the water and put the potatoes in a colander, then put the colander back over the pot you boiled them in and cover the potatoes with a clean dish towel. Let them steam for 15 minutes. Finishing them off this way instead of boiling for longer time prevents that overly mushy crumbly thing that happens to potatoes when you stir them a lot.
After the potatoes are done steaming, cut each potato half into quarters (depending on the size of your potatoes) and toss into a big bowl. Add the scallions, parsley and celery to the bowl, then add the vinegars, oils, mustard, salt and pepper and give a good stir. Serve at room temperature or chill for at least two hours to give the flavors time to develop. If the salad seems too dry when you are ready to eat it (potatoes are thirsty buggers), add a couple tablespoons of water or chicken broth or a little more oil and vinegar. Serve with whatever amazing bbq you’ve got going on and don’t forget to invite me over!
Makes 4 – 6 good sized servings
*I didn’t put the gluten free tag on this because it contains white vinegar. Most celiacs and gluten sensitive people tolerate white vinegar just fine but for the very sensitive, it could be an issue since it is made from grain, including rye or wheat. The distillation process breaks down the gluten proteins so that the product is virtually “gluten free” from a testing standpoint (under 20 parts per million) but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe for everyone. Complicated stuff!