Category Archives: salads and dressings

Potato Salad

This is my favorite, classic potato salad recipe I grew up on adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

    • 8 medium (around 3 lbs) white or new potatoes
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup vegetable olive oil
    • Salt to taste (not much if you boil potatoes in salt water as recommended)
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    • 2 or 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
    • 4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
    • 3 TBS cider vinegar
    • Paprika

Peel, quarter, and boil the potatoes. Start with potatoes in cold water and cook until just fork tender–DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Drain & cut the very warm potatoes as soon as you can handle them into 1/2 inch pieces. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, pepper, and salt and gently toss warm (the hotter the better) potato pieces in the resulting oil emulsion. Refrigerate until cool or until ready to assemble and serve, up to a couple days. This preliminary dressing improves the flavor and ensures the potatoes won’t absorb too much mayonnaise later.

Just before serving, put the eggs and celery on top of the potatoes, mix the mayonnaise (it’s got to be Hellman’s) & vinegar in a small bowl, then gently fold the mayo dressing into potato salad until all pieces are coated. Taste. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning and add a 1/2 to a teaspoon of sugar if too tart. Sprinkle with paprika, and serve.

potato salad



Indonesian Gado-Gado

Adapted from “The Barrio Vegetarian” Peace Corps Philippines. We were there 1989-1990 and we still make this, especially in the late fall when our CSA shares are bountiful.  Gado-gado is a dipping sauce served with a platter of vegetables, tofu and hard-boiled eggs.

1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 chili pepper minced
oil for sauteing
1/2 to one cup boiling water
1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
1 lime, juiced – the original recipe calls for 3 kalamansi, a tiny green citrus fruit
1 teaspoon grated ginger
salt to taste
1/2 coconut milk (evaporated milk in the original)

according to the original recipe:
bean sprouts
shredded cabbage
green beans, blanched or raw
hard-boiled eggs, prepared in advance
tofu, cubed and sauted in advance
we add:
different colored sliced peppers
apple slices

Prepare vegetable platter ahead of time and sprinkle lemon or lime juice over the veggies.  Have the hard-boiled eggs peeled, leave them whole or cut them in half. Saute the tofu until browned.

Saute the onion and garlic in oil in a wok until soft, add peppers and cook a little more. Add the peanut butter to the pan and then gradually stir in the boiling water, whisking until smooth. Add all the other ingredients except coconut or evaporated milk and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and simmer for a few more minutes. Pour into a serving dish and serve.


Green Goddess Pasta Salad

1. Cook 1 lb of shaped pasta and set aside (elbows, shells, rotini etc.)

2. Mash the avocado and with the other sauce ingredients until well blended

1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
pinch salt
freshly ground black pepper

3. Add the herbs and vegetables, mix gently to combine and serve.

up to 1 cup parsley leaves and stems, chopped
chives, chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Add fresh peas, baby spinach, zucchini ribbons, and/or mini fresh mozzarella balls; chop and add celery, peppers, and/or mushrooms.

Black Bean Corn Salad

I had a wonderful version of this at a party in Boston years ago. Been looking for the recipe ever since. This one adapted from from Divas Can Cook comes close.

1 c frozen corn sweet corn
1 can black beans, drained
dice the following to a similar size as the corn
2 bell peppers, diced – choose two different colors for visual appeal
1 small red onion, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped

1½ Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 T olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cumin

1 avocado, diced (optional)

Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. Wisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour; it gets better as the flavors meld. Add avocado if desired, toss gently before serving.

photo credit

Waldorf Salad Variations

Waldorf salad reminds me of my Grandmother, Irene Burgess Klein.  I’m pretty sure she used jelly in hers…but it was likely her homemade jelly! The dressing for the original Waldorf salad was just 1/4 c mayonnaise.

2 or 3 tart apples (like Granny Smith)
2 T lemon juice
2 stalks celery, minced
1 c seedless grapes, whole or halved
1/4 c raisins
1/2 c walnuts

OTHER OPTIONS: sliced ripe pears, mango, pineapple, grated carrot, mandarin oranges or clementine sections

Mix apples with lemon juice in a medium sized bowl right after slicing. Add the rest of the salad ingredients. Whisk together your choice of dressing, then combine everything and mix well.

1/2 c plain yogurt
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/2 c orange or pineapple juice
1/2 c plain yogurt
2-3 t lemon juice
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1-2 T honey
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 c mayo
1/3 c crumbled blue cheese
1 c yogurt
1/2 c pineapple or orange juice
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, page 59 and elsewhere.

Festive Holiday Salad

Festive photo by Chelsea Lane, Christmas 2010.

1 bag fresh baby spinach
seeds from one whole pomegranate
1/2 medium sized red onion, finely sliced

1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 c candied pecans (recipe follows)
croutons, optional
Lightly toss spinach, pomegranate seeds and onion together and drizzle on the dressing or serve on the side. Top with raspberries, candied pecans and croutons.

the other half of the red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 c sugar
2 T vinegar
1/2 t ground mustard
1/2 t salt
1T poppy seeds
1/2 c olive oil
Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c (heaping) whole pecans
Mix oil, vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and heat. Add pecans and stir frequently until liquid is crystallized and absorbed by the pecans. Spread out on a plate and allow to cool.

Green Goddess Dressing

A tofu based low fat version

Put everything in a blender. Voila!

1/4 lb soft tofu
1 t Dijon mustard
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1 scallion, sliced (white and green parts too)
1 clove minced or pressed garlic
1 T lemon juice
1 T good vinegar
1/2 t salt

Vegetarian Times page 215