Saturday side: Four-color Potato salad

The world famous Nichols Supermarket in Liverpool has a homemade potato salad at its deli counter that is addicting. It’s well spiced and salted, has just the right amount of mayonnaise and three different types of potatoes: white-skinned, red-skinned and sweet potatoes.

During our errand running today (Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Kohl’s, Babies R Us, the county paper shredding event…big day for the Paventis), we made it by Wegmans. I asked The Wife what she thought about potato salad with dinner tonight and she seemed agreeable. I went to work.

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The key is the variety of potatoes. Each brings something different to the party. Butter potatoes, or Yukon golds, are not as starchy and have a creamier flavor. Red-skinned potatoes are lighter. Sweet potatoes are, well, sweeter and have a more earthier flavor. The purple potatoes that were available are denser and have a tougher texture than the rest. Each have a slightly different flavor, but in the end, they are all potatoes. They absorb the herbs, spices and dressing they are combined with.

Four-color potato salad
By Jared Paventi

  • 5 lbs. of potatoes, mixed between sweet potatoes/yams, red-skinned, russets, Yukon golds, and other fresh potatoes available at your grocery store
  • Three stalks of celery, white ends trimmed, thinly sliced and leaves separated
  • Small bunch of scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat mayonnaise (I’m a big fan of Kraft’s Mayo with Olive Oil)
  • Herbes de provence
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. In the meantime, cut your potatoes into small, forkable pieces. Don’t cut them so small that they fall apart in the water. Add the potatoes to the boiling water. Return the pot to boil and add a liberal amount of kosher salt. It’s better to add too much than not enough in this instance.

Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until they are just able to be pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and let them stand for a few minutes to cool. Combine in a large mixing bowl with the celery, scallions, mustard, and mayonnaise, and turn with a large spoon to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 to 3 hours to cool.