"A well-made potato salad is one of the most delicious side dishes you can have," says Food editor Russ Parsons. And his potato salad is well made. It has just the right hit of vinaigrette — made with red wine vinegar, shallots and Dijon mustard — that serves as a bright note against the starchiness of the potatoes. The trick is to season the potatoes while they are still hot so they'll be flavorful all the way through. He also makes his with fresh, crunchy celery, red onions and parsley — and serves it with a juicy grilled steak.
Potato salad with celery and red onion
Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time
2 pounds waxy potatoes, unpeeled
2 1/2 teaspoons shallots
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup oil
1 cup chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
1/3 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, barely cover with water, add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a simmer. Maintain a gentle simmer until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a paring knife, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on their size.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. Place the shallots in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar. Let stand until the shallots have softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, oil and one-half teaspoon salt until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Drain the potatoes. As soon as they are barely cool enough to handle, cut them into bite-size pieces. If you prefer potatoes peeled, do this first — the skins will pull away easily with a paring knife.
4. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. While they are still very warm, pour over the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Set aside until cool.
5. When almost ready to serve, add the celery, onion and parsley and stir to combine. Salt to taste and serve.
Each of 6 servings: 220 calories; 3 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 12 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 238 mg. sodium.