I Reached to My Roots for This One!
When Recipe ReDux shared the United States Potato Board Healthy Summer Potato Salad Challenge with us this month, I knew I would reach to my Italian roots. My grandmother always made “Italian Potato Salad,” and now my Dad does, too.
We Italians like our pancetta in potato salad – and lots of other recipes. But pancetta isn’t all that healthy. And who needs recipes? In my family ingredients are “eyeballed.” Gram’s instructions? Adjust ingredients until “it tastes right.”
This approach isn’t as successful for some people. So, I decided to create my own twist on this family favorite – with an actual recipe. A bit healthier, packed with more fresh herbs, with my own balance of ingredients.
Gram isn’t here to tell me how I did, but I got Dad’s stamp of approval (after a couple of suggestions – which I took!). It feels good to share it with you. Here’s to you, Gram and Dad!
How to Make Healthier Italian Potato Salad
- 2 lbs red bliss potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups)
- 2 green onions, sliced OR ⅓ cup red onion, ½ inch dice
- 1 large stalk celery, ½ inch dice
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup sliced olives (black or kalamata)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup white balsamic dressing (ingredients and instructions below)
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or diced
- 1 TBS fresh parsley, minced OR 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 TBS fresh basil, minced OR 1 tsp dried basil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a sheet pan. Toast until light brown and aromatic. (usually 10-15 minutes) Let cool.
- Wash and cut your potatoes into 1 inch cubes. (leave skins on)
- In a 4 quart saucepan cover potatoes with water. Bring potatoes to boil. Cook until fork tender. Drain well. Lightly toss with the sea salt and pepper in a medium to large mixing bowl.
- Cut your onions and celery into a medium dice.
- Chop your basil, mince your parsley.
- Drain olives. (I buy the sliced cans at Whole Foods so there’s one less thing I have to cut!)
- In a small mixing bowl combine grated garlic, herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Measure out ¼ cup of high quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Pour the olive oil into the bowl of other dressing ingredients in a slow, even, steady stream as you whisk to create an emulsion.
- Whisk until you have poured all of the olive oil into the bowl. Taste to see if the oil to vinegar ratio and salt and pepper are to your taste. Adjust if needed.
- *You can also put all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend for a 10-20 seconds.
- Add cut onion, celery, olives, basil, parsley, and pine nuts to potatoes. Lightly mix.
- Add ¼ cup of your white balsamic dressing. Toss and taste. If you like more punch like me, add 1 tbsp white balsamic dressing directly onto the potatoes. Lightly stir. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
- Keep in mind that this salad needs time for the flavors to meld, so let it sit for 1-2 hours. Then taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Give Potato Salad Some Street Credit
No one will ever know this guilt-free potato salad is “healthy.” Full of flavor and good fats, you’ll get vitamins and minerals from the potatoes and herbs instead of the bad fat that has given potato salad a bad wrap over the years.
We can reinvent foods to be healthy and yummy with basic ingredients you can easily find! If you need help making this quick dressing, watch this short video, Easy White Balsamic Dressing!
What your potatoes should look like chopped to 1 inch cubes:
What your sliced green onions should look like:
What your chopped celery should look like:
Chopped basil vs. minced parsley:
I’ve found that people like basil in a larger chop and that parsley needs to be minced because it can be tougher to chew. But by all means, you should chop or mince your herbs as small or large as you like!
Please Leave Feedback and Questions in Comments Below
This is surely a doable and delicious healthy potato salad recipe. Please give it a try and let me know what you think!
Disclosure Statement: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the United States Potato Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.