Thursday, July 29, 2010

Curried Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of America's summer staple food. But face it, too many times, potato salad is bland or one-note or uninteresting. Most of them use mayo or sour cream as their bases, which is more fat than any of us need.

A couple years ago, a local restaurant gave me the recipe for their creamy curry sauce. It's excellent, but not as versatile or healthy as I like. So I started playing with it (of course).

Yogurt is a common (and quite yummy) substitute for mayo. I buy a (relatively) local creamery's yogurt - Tillamook. The creamery is situated near the town of Tillamook on the Oregon coast. I am partial to their products, which I feel are far superior to nearly all the larger regional brands -- and head and shoulders above the national ones. But this is all beside the point.

My point is that low-fat yogurt, from any source, is healthier than mayo. It has loads of nutrients, especially vitamin D and calcium.

Curry Potato Salad
3-4 cups of diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup celery

Curry Dressing
1-1/2 cups plain, low-fat yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Blend well by hand or with a food processor.

Steam the potatoes until done, but firm. Cool.

Once the potatoes are cool, mix the onions, celery, and potatoes. Add the curry dressing 1/2 to 1 cup at at a time, until everything is coated. Do not add too much dressing (you probably won't use all of it). Enjoy!

I prefer the waxy potato varieties (red, Yukon gold, white) to the mealier russets. I think it nicely highlights the creaminess of the entire dish. The celery and onion provide a nice crunchy counterpoint to the unctuous creamy conspiracy of the potatoes and sauce. One of my next experiments with this dish is deciding what other vegetables to include - carrots and broccoli are definitely contenders.

I made the salad the night before I served it. The flavors tend to marry and intensify overnight, especially as the potatoes absorb some of the curry flavor.

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