The Agony and Ecstasy of Cooking and Baking


Jauneta StoutWhat you do with what you’ve got applies to more than time, talent and money. It applies to recipes. Most cooks know the agony and the ecstasy of changing the recipe just a little bit. The trick, of course, is knowing when you must adhere faithfully and when you can improvise.

So, we come to potato salad. I envy you folks who have new potatoes and tomatoes just a few yards away in your well tended gardens. But, not all is lost. The local road side stand had both, just what I needed for a new recipe.

New Potato Salad

The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon pesto sauce. I have made pesto when basil was plentiful, but now it is limited to a space in the herb pot. So, eliminate that. Here is the recipe I found possible with what I had on hand. I found it to be in the ecstasy class.

8 medium new red potatoes
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup (more or less) mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion
1 rib celery, minced
1/2 cup (or more) rough chopped mixed herbs
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Cut unpeeled red potatoes in 1-inch pieces. Cook briefly in salted water. The trick is not to overcook them. They need to have some bite. Drain, add vinegar and salt, toss. Chill. While they are chilling prepare dressing by chopping celery, onions and herbs to a medium chop (food processor works good here) and add to mayo. When all is chilled, combine, add chopped tomatoes and enjoy! I used a combination of parsley, basil, thyme and rosemary. Be sure to remove the hard stems of herbs.

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