Sometimes a cold potato salad with celery, onions, boiled eggs and a generous dollop of mayonnaise is just the ticket for a summer supper. Fortunately, potatoes take kindly to all sorts of additions and variations, and adapt themselves to being served warm or cold.
One thing you can do to make a potato salad taste very fine is sprinkle rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, or even plain malt vinegar — the sort some Down Easters like to put on French fries — on warm, cooked potatoes to soak in while the potatoes cool.
Most potato salads around my house are a free-for-all. I have dropped in blanched green beans, asparagus, broccoli, shredded spinach, pickles chopped finely, cucumber, celery, red onion, pickled onions, shallots, scallions, parsley and the kitchen sink, though not all of these at one time.
For dressing, I use vinaigrette or mayo or a garlicky homemade dressing that I am fond of.
Here is another great potato salad idea: Make a warm potato salad with soft goat cheese added. The warmth of the potatoes softens the cheese even more and makes it downright creamy. Use a vinaigrette dressing and treat the goat cheese as an ingredient along with potatoes, onion and parsley. As the cheese melts, it mellows out the dressing. Then if you want to, you can add other blanched and warm vegetables.
Warm Potato Salad
Makes 4-6 servings.
1½ pounds red potatoes
1 small red onion finely chopped
3 sprigs flat-leafed parsley, minced
2 ounces soft goat cheese
Vinaigrette dressing to taste
Salt and pepper
Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and cook until they are tender. Drain quickly. While they are still warm, add the onion, parsley, cheese, dressing and salt and pepper, tossing all together gently until the cheese melts. Serve.