Giada De Laurentiis And Bobby Flay Share Secret Weapons For Potato Salad

When you hear the word "salad," bowls of wilted lettuce with dressing drizzled on top are often the first things that come to mind. But salads do not need to involve leafy greens at all if you don't want them to. From pasta salad and watermelon salad to bean salad and corn salad, there are so many ways to turn salads into not just a healthy meal but also a delicious concoction filled with your favorite ingredients. Another prime example of a tasty loaded salad is the iconic potato salad.

Whether you've attended a backyard barbecue or a summer soirée, you've likely nibbled on this classic summer side at least once before. Aside from the most important ingredient, the potatoes, a classic potato salad recipe typically includes celery, onions, and a creamy dressing featuring mayonnaise and mustard (via All Recipes and Betty Crocker). But one of the best things about this recipe is that you can truly customize it to suit your personal taste buds. Celebrity chefs Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay have both made wildly different adaptions of this recipe, both of which sound tasty in their own right.

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay keep their potato salad dressings light and fresh

While many potato salad recipes utilize different ingredients, most are tied together with a creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing. That said, a significant number of Americans dislike this white condiment. Herbert Stone, a food sensory consultant, told Popular Science that approximately 20% of Americans can't stand the taste of mayonnaise and, as a result, most potato salads. If you are part of the anti-mayo club, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay have potato salads that may appeal to you.

Interestingly enough, neither celebrity chef includes mayonnaise in their potato salad recipe. The "Everyday Italian" star's dressing is made up of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme, and Dijon mustard, as noted by the Food Network, while Flay's German potato salad is dressed with olive oil, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. While both salads have slightly similar dressings, the resemblances end there.

The primary ingredients that compose De Laurentiis' dish include potatoes, red or yellow bell pepper, arugula, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and chopped walnuts. To pair with his potatoes, Flay goes heavy on the onions. The "Beat Bobby Flay" host includes three types of onions in his summer salad, including red, yellow, and green onions, as well as bacon and fresh parsley leaves.

The recipe for potato salad differs by country

As with any recipe, what's traditional in America isn't the same as what's traditional in other countries. Originally, the popular side dish came from Germany, and it looked very little like the kind of potato salad you're used to consuming in the United States (via Chron). These small pieces of potato were often dressed with vinegar-laden sauerkraut, sugar, and bacon. According to The Atlantic, a specific type of potatoes may have been used as well, as those in Germany were taught to use waxy potatoes with low starch. A good example of this is that of fingerling potatoes.

The French switched things up even more when adapting their own recipe. This variation of potato salad is usually bursting with vegetables, Dijon mustard, tarragon, and vinaigrette to sweeten up the vinegar-based variety in Germany. Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Japanese potato salad takes a different approach. In Japan, it's common for potato salad to include beets, carrots, and greens. Even with the changes, it's still held together with mayonnaise like that of American potato salad.

Potato salad popularity may be on the decline

Because everyone has differing opinions, potato salad recipes differ from family to family. It might be a good thing that people are switching it up; according to Tastewise, there's been a 44.13% decrease in potato-salad-based conversation over the last year. Furthermore, only 7.58% of restaurants have potato salad on their menu.

In a Reddit thread on the r/Cooking subreddit, one user asked for the public's hot takes on the famed side item. The original poster had strong feelings against hot potato salad and red potatoes. Opposite to German traditions, they believe starchy potatoes are the way to go. In the comments, one Reddit user voiced their disdain against overcooked potatoes, while another disagreed, stating that potatoes should be overcooked a bit. 

One commenter enjoys the tried and true, writing "Warm German potato salad with bacon and a nice vinegary dressing is the best, and I will die on this hill." Rather you feel as strongly as these Reddit users regarding your potato salad opinions, it's likely you follow a recipe passed down from generation to generation. And if not, you may want to learn more about the origins of potato salad.