Perfect Potato Salads for Summer Entertaining

party size Italian potato salad

Way back in 2007 when I started this blog I posted an Italian potato salad, fast forward almost twelve years later ( still can’t believe it’s been that long!) and  I still continue to make it.

Italian potato salad is such a classic dish, it’s the perfect side so it’s great for parties, picnic’s and celebrations. There’s no mayo involved so no need to worry about anything spoiling as it sits out at your party.

The photo above is a crowd size amount that I made for a family cookout that I was having. Don’t get caught up on amounts and exact measurements when making this, it’s a simple process it’s all about visual balance and your taste preference as far as seasonings go.

I used those teeny red, white and blue potatoes, I like the different colors, but you can certainly use all red which is more a traditional Italian potato salad.

roasted potatoes and beans

Since 2007 I’ve changed up my recipe a bit. I always use to boil my potatoes but now I roast them. Don’t get me wrong, boiling is fine but I much prefer the taste of a roasted potato, plus I don’t like the texture of a some what mushy potato, but again, that’s just my preference, but I would encourage you to try it this way by roasting the potatoes, plus I think the presentation looks much nicer.

1. The ingredients in my Italian potato salad are: Roasted potatoes, some sliced, some whole depending on how big they are, roasted at 425F until fork tender.

2. Steamed green beans, I prefer haricort verts, red onion rings, kalamata olives and sliced cherry tomatoes.

3. Place everything into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper, granulated garlic and oregano, taste as you go to your liking.

4. The dressing is: 3 parts olive oil, 1 part red wine vinegar, 1 t. dijon, 1 garlic clove, 1 t.oregano, salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Whisk it up, drizzle and toss. Place the salad onto a nice platter.


red white and blue potato salad

Next is my Red, White and Blue potato salad, perfect for the 4th of July! Again I used those teeny colored potatoes and when you cut them in half the vibrant color really shows through.

forth of July potato salad

1.These are roasted as well in a 425F oven, drizzled with olive oil along with chunks of sweet red bell pepper, finished when fork tender.

2.  When they become fork tender, which doesn’t take long, toss them into a bowl and add chopped red onion or shallots, snipped chives, sliced scallions, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste with lots of grated strands of lemon 
3.Whisk up fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil for your dressing and pour it all over and toss, as it sits it just gets better and better as all the flavors start to absorb.

sweet potato salad

Next up is this Grilled Sweet Potato Salad, If you never grilled sweet a potato you’re missing out. Cooking sweet potatoes this way gives them a crisp charred edge and a slight smokiness that contrasts well with the sweetness of the potatoes, it’s delicious and a nice change.

  1. Preheat grill to medium. Peel sweet potatoes and slice into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place on a grill that has been sprayed with olive oil spray.
  2. Also on the grill add some colored mini peppers and a couple of ears of corn because these will all be added to the salad along with the sweet potatoes. Remove when tender and slightly charred.
  3. When everything cools down, shuck the corn, slice the mini peppers and toss them into a large bowl with some chopped parsley, green onion and arugula.
  4. Arrange everything onto a pretty platter and drizzle with the dressing.
  5. Honey Mustard Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 T. apple cider vinegar, 2 T. Dijon, 1 T. honey, 1 garlic clove, whisk all together. Feel free to double or triple the recipe.  

All of these potato salads are a nice addition to your summer buffet table, they can sit out safely and they all taste delicious at room temperature, so enjoy!

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Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

red white blue potato saladred white blue potato saladNo Fourth of July picnic or barbecue is complete without a potato salad of some sort. We all have our favorites but if you want to change it up a bit and bring a little patriotic theme to your table, search out those teeny tiny red, white and blue potatoes.

I happen to come across some at my local farmers market last week and couldn’t resist. These bite size potatoes are no bigger than an olive and they’re just perfect for roasting, they have a tender thin skin so there’s no need for peeling, and they cook up in a matter of minutes.
I also love those colored fingerling potatoes they’re a little larger and cook up just as fast.
My favorite way to prepare them is to simply roast them in a hot oven around 450 degrees, drizzled with olive oil. I like to add in some red pepper to roast along with the potatoes.
When they become fork tender, which doesn’t take long, toss them into a bowl and add chopped red onion or shallots, snipped chives, sliced scallions, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste with lots of grated lemon peel.
Whisk up fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil for your dressing and pour it all over and toss, as it sits it just gets better and better as all the flavors start to absorb.
I like to leave some whole and cut a few in half so you can see the vibrant colors. So perfect for the Fourth of July and no worries about keeping it cold, no mayo required.

The nice thing about potato salad is that it goes perfect with just about anything that you make on your grill or pack up for a picnic.

Sip something cold, relax and enjoy your weekend. I’ve been on an ice cube making binge lately, adding blueberries and raspberries to water then freezing the cubes and dropping them into lemonade.

Here I made cubes out of watermelon puree and mint, a nice change from the norm!

Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

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Turkey and Sweet Potatoes, They’re Not Just For Thanksgiving Anymore!

Are you tired of having hamburgers and steaks on the grill yet? Try something different and cook up an Herb Grilled Turkey Breast! It’s really very simple, it’s just a matter of chopping up some of your favorite fresh herbs, adding lemon zest, smashed garlic, drizzling in some olive oil, salt and pepper until you have a nice thick paste, and then rubbing it all over your turkey breast, under and over the skin, front and back. I had a half of a turkey breast and the herbs I used were thyme, parsley and basil.

I put the turkey breast directly on the top of my grill cooking it with indirect heat, which means the middle burner was shut off, I kept the temperature hovering around 350F until internal temp reached 180F. Of course cooking times will vary according to weight, but make sure you check it because you don’t want it to go past 180F.

The result you’ll get is meat that is exceptionally moist and bursting with flavor, now that’s a good thing!

Since this is a summer version of a turkey dinner how about a Grilled Sweet Potato Salad to serve on the side?I like using corn, green onions, red and yellow pepper rings along with my sweet potatoes, but this time I added some asparagus and string beans that I had in my fridge. Toss everything in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and just grill them all up!

Same goes for the sweet potatoes, which by the way taste excellent when grilled, remember their the star in this salad after all!

After all the veggies are grilled up, shuck your corn and place everything on a platter and garnish with chopped parsley, chives or whatever fresh herbs you like, and then drizzle your salad with a Homemade Vinaigrette, here’s mine;
3 Parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Part Red Wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 minced garlic clove
1 Teaspoon dried Greek Oregano
A squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper
Enjoy and Buon Appetito!