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November, 2009

Rustic Style Herbed Potato Salad

By Heidi Allison

The maligned potato has garnered a lot of bad press as a high-glycemic, useless white starch in the last 20 years.

Delegated to the status of a nutritional pariah, this tuber’s tarnished image is now poised to change. Researchers just discovered that potatoes contain potent phytonutrients and vitamins directly linked to lowering high blood pressure!

Recent advances in molecular biology and metabolomics have allowed food scientists to identify 60 phytochemicals and vitamins that provide potent antioxidant activity and lower high blood pressure. Plant geneticist Roy Navarre discovered red and Norkotah potatoes have a phenolic activity that rivals broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts! This research team also found that white potatoes contain quercetin and kukoamines, two compounds that also help to lower high blood pressure. Moreover, a single potato provides an astounding 1,627 mg of potassium – a mineral that causes blood vessels to relax and also reduces blood pressure. The highest concentration of these health-promoting compounds is found in the potato’s skin. While most American potato salad recipes call for peeled potatoes, this innovative recipe leaves the skin on. The secret to its success is twofold: allow the hot spuds to soak up the fresh Meyer lemon juice as they cool (this enhances the bland potatoes’ flavor); then add the herbs and mayo when the potatoes are cool to the touch. Otherwise, you significantly up the calorie count by having to add more mayo (hot potatoes absorb more oil) and the delicate, fresh herbs will lose their vibrant, green color. It’s also crucial to use organic potatoes, which have a have more flavor and a richer tasting skin.

Rustic-Style Herbed Potato Salad
Rustic-Style Herbed Potato Salad
Serves: 4

2 large Melissa’s Organic Russet Potatoes, rinsed and skin left on
Juice of 1 Melissa’s Meyer Lemon
2 ½ Tbs. minced dill
1 ½ Tbs. minced chives
1 clove Melissa’s Peeled Garlic, smashed
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¾ tsp. white sugar
2 ½ heaping Tbsp. good quality mayonnaise (Best Foods, Hellman’s or homemade)
½ tsp. (20 turns) freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Cut potatoes into ¼ -inch rounds, then quarters –approximately ½ -inch cubes. Place cut potatoes into a 2-quart pot of cold water (cover potatoes with at least 5 inches of cold water), and place the heat on medium-high until it boils, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until soft—about 20 minutes.

Remove the potatoes with a strainer and place in a large bowl. Immediately pour lemon juice over hot potatoes and toss several times; then cover with foil and set aside until the potatoes cool down to room temperature and have absorbed all the lemon juice —about 30 minutes. Place the garlic clove on a cutting board and cover with salt, then rub the backside of a heavy chef’s knife over the garlic to macerate it into a paste (you can also use a mortar and pestle for this step). Add garlic paste, herbs, pepper and mayo to cooled potatoes and gently toss. Great with fried chicken, sandwiches or grilled fish!