My mom flew into town during the Fourth of July weekend, so my younger sister texted me (instead of her) for her potato salad recipe—the one we enjoyed so much growing up. I found it, snapped a picture, and sent it to her by text. The incident made me remember my own version of potato salad, however—one that I had made for JJ and me a number of times when we were first married.
I hadn’t made it for a couple of years, but I had potatoes and some other ingredients on hand, so I bought the few remaining ingredients needed and went about making this delightful, tangy dish.
This potato salad is different than others in that it doesn’t use mayonnaise as its base. It uses zesty Italian dressing instead, which is why I gave it its name. That’s not the only ingredient that makes it different, however. This mouth-watering summer side dish is a delightful combination of soft potatoes and carrots with chewy hard-boiled egg, crunchy celery bits, tangy banana peppers, and salty green olives (or black olives, if preferred). Add a hint of spice with jalapeño peppers, if desired, and some sunflowers seeds for an extra bit of crunch. It’s a dish that is bursting with flavor in every bite and sure to impress a crowd. Want to take things up a notch? Turn this side into a potato salad bar, leaving the zesty Italian-seasoned potatoes and carrots in a large serving bowl with all the other ingredients in smaller serving bowls so that each individual can personalize his or her serving. It will be a sure crowd-pleaser at the next summer party for all ages to enjoy.
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for this festive potato salad. And as always, let me know if you make this dish and what you think!
ZESTY ITALIAN POTATO SALAD
- 2 lbs potatoes (about 6 potatoes)
- 5 medium carrots (about 1 ½ c)
- 1 ½ c zesty Italian dressing
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped (about ½ c)
- ½ c green olives, cut in half
- ½ c banana peppers
- ¼ c to ½ c pickled jalapeños (optional)
- Sunflower seeds (optional)
Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place in a pot of lightly salted water and boil for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Strain the carrots and potatoes and set aside for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly. Once cooled, pour the dressing over the potatoes and carrots and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then add the eggs, celery, olives, banana peppers, and jalapeños (if using). Sprinkle a teaspoon of sunflower seeds over each individual serving, if desired, and enjoy! Makes 6 servings.