Food: An easy side dish for Labor Day (recipe) |

Food: An easy side dish for Labor Day (recipe)



2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, washed and dried

1 large bunch parsley, about 1-inch of stems still attached, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped with scissors

1 bunch basil, about 1-inch of stems still attached, thoroughly washed and dried, roughly chopped with scissors

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 to 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 small purple onion, peeled and chopped finely

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon capers and 1 teaspoon caper liquid

2 to 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish


1. Micro-cook 8 to 10 of the potatoes in microwave on HIGH for 15 to 20 minutes. Cook the remaining potatoes in batches until all are tender when pierced with a knife. Alternately, heat oven to 350 F. Arrange potatoes in single layer in a baking dish and put in center of oven. Bake for about 50 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor (or blender), combine the parsley, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the water and blend. With the motor running, pour the olive oil through the top in a slow, steady stream, until well-combined, but still chunky.

3. In a serving bowl (use one large enough to add in the potatoes later), stir together red wine vinegar, onion, celery, mustard, capers and liquid, sweet pickle relish and half of parsley/oil puree.

4. When the potatoes are tender and yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife, remove from microwave or the oven; allow to cool for a few minutes. Peel half of them. Some potato skin adds a nice flavor in the salad. Cut any big potatoes in quarters, the rest in half.

5. Put potatoes in bowl with vinegar dressing. Stir in remaining half of parsley/oil puree. Taste salad, and add 1/8 teaspoon sugar, and additional salt and pepper as needed. Keep at room temperature until serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

The first Monday in September is Labor Day, a celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers, and their contributions to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. While the holiday has been celebrated nationwide since 1894, the original founder of Labor Day has long been a matter of debate.

A picnic and demonstration was held on what is believed to be the first Labor Day celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. Soon, other labor unions across the United States begin to pattern their “workingmen’s holiday” celebrations after the one held by the Central Labor Union.

Labor Day commemorations America may have changed, but the spirit of the holiday recognizing the contributions of the American worker to the quality of life we all enjoy remains steadfast to this day.

If you’re celebrating Labor Day with a picnic or a gathering at home, try serving this simpler version of potato salad. Instead of boiling the potatoes, they are microwaved or baked. Instead of mayonnaise, this recipe calls for a flavorful garlic, basil and parsley dressing, capers, celery and green onions. Best of all, the salad can be prepared in advance. It’s a delicious and modern way to give hard-working cooks a break on Labor Day!

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