This is the time of year when gardeners and farmers are digging potatoes. There are many reasons why potatoes are a favorite vegetable. They are the ultimate comfort food and can be prepared in many ways.
Potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and they are low in calories. Most of the potato’s nutrition is stored under the skin, so there is no need to peel potatoes unless the recipe calls for it. Potatoes served with the skin are considered a high-fiber food.
There are many varieties of potatoes. I usually like to grow several types, including Yukon Gold, Kennebec, heirloom purple and red potatoes. Each type has unique characteristics and flavor. Some are better for baking, while others are better for boiling.
Once the potatoes have been dug, store them in a cool, dark place to keep them from spoiling or sprouting.
Sometimes a simple recipe is perfect for showcasing the creamy goodness of the lowly spud.
Potato salad is a staple at summer picnics, but it is good year-round. Potatoes that hold their shape after cooking are preferred when making potato salad. Starchy potatoes like Russets tend to fall apart and are better for making mashed potatoes. Yukon gold and red potatoes have thin skins that can be left on to provide more nutritional benefits.
Potato salad is believed to have originated in Germany. Recipes were brought to the United States during the 19th century by European immigrants. Since American-style potato salad contains mayonnaise, it must be refrigerated and served cold.
There are many variations of potato salad. Most recipes have been passed down from one’s mother or grandmother and everyone gives it their own special touch. I always add celery seeds to my potato salad, because that is what my mother did.
Potato salad can be one of those risky foods for foodborne illnesses, if it is left out for a long time. Many think the mayonnaise is the culprit, but potatoes are often the perfect bed for bacteria growth. Remember to keep potato salad cool and refrigerate any leftovers after you have finished eating.
Grandma’s Potato Salad
2 hard-boiled eggs
4 cups cooked potato cubes
¼ cup sliced celery
¼ cup chopped onion
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
Peel and chop eggs. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, potatoes, celery and onion. Spoon dressing ingredients over the potato mixture. Combine well. Cover at least one hour or until chilled.