Try these potato salads for summer picnic season

Green Potato Salad with Zhoug on a blue-rimmed white oval platter, sitting on a colorful tablecloth.
Potato salads — both classic and new — to arm yourself for the picnic season ahead.
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

As we round spring into the month of May, I always start dreaming about the summer ahead — where I’ll go and, most important, what I’ll eat. My calendar is already mostly filled through August with short weekend trips, picnic days and barbecue parties. And though the food I want at those occasions is varied, one thing that will always be at any function I attend is potato salad.

I wrote about my love of potato salad in today’s Weekend section, both my mom’s classic Southern recipe and my new spin that gives me everything I want in a potato salad. Inspired by the Yemeni hot sauce zhoug, I blend chiles, cilantro and spices into a creamy, green-goddess-like dressing to drape over new potatoes, cucumbers and snap peas. It’s exceedingly crunchy, spicy and fresh, something most potato salads are not.

Paola Briseño González has a recipe for a Latin-style potato salad that dresses warm potatoes and lobster in a classic green goddess dressing made with tangy labneh — a fantastic all-in-one summer dish. And for something simpler but also off the beaten path, Genevieve Ko has a wonderful warm potato salad dressed in a mustard vinaigrette mottled with onion-y nigella seeds.

Ko also has a wonderful recipe for Korean barbecue-style smashed potato salad, which uses kewpie mayo for a hit of umami and carrots and cucumbers for crunch. But if you’re looking for a solid recipe for old-fashioned Southern potato salad, Rodney Scott has you covered with a spud-forward salad teeming with red onion, celery, pickle relish and mustard and plenty of spice thanks to the inclusion of his dry rib rub in the dressing.

Whether you’re a potato salad lover or a hater who needs convincing, these recipes have you covered for making summer’s best dish.


Crunchy and Spicy Green Potato Salad

The dressing for this fresh spring potato salad is inspired by zhoug, the fiery chile sauce from Yemen that goes well on basically anything. Here, serrano chiles add heat, but you can tame them by removing the seeds from some or all of them.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 45 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling.

Potato salad with snap peas on an oval, blue-rimmed white platter.
(Shelby Moore / For The Times)

Potato Salad With Spicy Green Goddess Labneh and Lobster

Commonly paired in many Latin cuisines, briny rich seafood — in this case, lobster — goes wonderfully with creamy potatoes in this salad, invigorated by a tart, creamy green-goddess-style dressing.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 40 minutes.

A white bowl of potato salad includes leafy greens.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

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Rodney Scott’s Potato Salad

Red-skinned potatoes deliver a creamier result than russet potatoes. It’s best to dress the potatoes when they’re still hot. That not only gets the seasoning into the potatoes quicker but also creates a balanced texture for a mighty fine potato salad.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 40 minutes.

 A bowl of potato salad made with red-skin potatoes.
(Jerrelle Guy)

Smashed Potato Salad

At Korean barbecue restaurants, small dishes of this style of mashed potato salad are served with the grilled meat. Cool and creamy with mayonnaise and boiled eggs, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the smokiness of charred meat.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 45 minutes.

Slice of cucumber and green onion are seen in a dish of creamy potato salad.
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Warm Potato Salad With Nigella Seeds

Nigella seeds look like black sesame seeds but taste like a mix of fried onions and oregano. Here, they echo the onion-y freshness of chives in a warm potato salad with the savory richness of a mustard vinaigrette.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 30 minutes.

A dish of small halved red skin potatoes sprinkled heavily with dark seeds.
(Leslie Grow)

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