Thursday, September 2, 2010

Potato Salad

Nothing hits the spot with barbecue like a good potato salad. Here’s a basic recipe. If you want a vegan version, skip the eggs and use a vegan mayonnaise.


4-5 medium-sized potatoes (about 5 cups)
1 red pepper
½ c. chopped onion or 1 tbsp. onion powder/granules
½ c. chopped celery
3 hard-boiled eggs
½ c. mayonnaise (use more if you like it creamier)
¼ c. sweet pickle relish
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
1-2 tsp. dill weed
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. celery seed
dusting of paprika
salt to taste


Bring 12 cups of water (and a tsp. of salt) to bowl in a pot with ample room for the potatoes. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the potatoes into chunks of approximately one inch. When the water is at a rolling bowl, put the potatoes in. They will take about 20 minutes of cooking at a rolling bowl. Check them periodically with a fork to be sure they are not too mushy. You want them just soft, not crunchy.

You can boil the eggs separately or, do as I do, and toss them into the pot of boiling potatoes for 10 minutes. They are easy to fish out with a pair of tongs. Cool the eggs immediately in cold water and peel them right away. (If you wait to peel them then you will have trouble getting the shells off nicely.) Chop the eggs as if for egg salad before combining them with the other ingredients.

Chop the vegetables into small pieces. Use fresh dill and fresh parsley if possible.

When the potatoes are cooked to satisfaction, drain them, rinse them in cold water in a colander, and combine them with all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise last. Put the potato salad in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour before serving. Dust the top with paprika.

For a creamier potato salad, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter into the potatoes when they are hot out of the pot and add a couple of tablespoons of sour cream to the salad.

Adjust ingredients proportionately for a larger batch.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mediterranean Rice and Pepper Salad

Good for potlucks, gluten-free, this salad is fresh and tasty. Cilantro lovers will especially enjoy this one. Notice that you must make this in advance and allow it to marinate for a half an hour (at least). Also leave advance time to cook the rice (45 minutes) if you are starting from scratch with no leftover rice handy.


3 cups cooked rice
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped yellow pepper
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/3 c. pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
¼ c. fresh chopped cilantro (packed cup)
1/3 c. olive oil
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. dry white wine
½ tsp. ground black pepper


Cook the rice. About one cup of uncooked rice will yield the three cups of cooked rice. I like to use exotic and wild rices (in combination). Ordinary brown rice will work fine with this recipe. It is also possible to substitute quinoa for the rice. Make sure the rice is cooled down to at least room temperature before adding any other ingredients (or the vegetables will wilt and the cheese will get mushy).

Chop the vegetables and cilantro and combine them with the (cooled) cooked rice. Add the olive oil, vinegar, wine, and black pepper. Finally, carefully fold in the crumbled feta. For an attractive appearance, save out some of the feta and cilantro to sprinkle on top.

Allow the salad to marinate in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour before serving. This dish goes well with other Mediterranean food, such as hummus, falafel, babaganoush (eggplant), or tomato/cucumber salad.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!