Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM ET
We're not saying the traditional potato salad needs an overhaul: The well-loved mayo-and-celery combination is still going strong, and for good reason. But Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to serve an updated riff on this picnic and potluck classic—and to ensure your potato salad stands out from the pack. These globally inspired mix-ins shake up the basic potato salad, and all come together in mere minutes.
For 4-6 servings of potato salad, start with a base of boiled potatoes:
Peel and slice 2 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes into rough 2-inch cubes. Place in a large stockpot with enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches, and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Uncover, reduce the heat slightly, and gently boil for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and rinse with cold water.
When the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, mix with one of the following combinations and add salt and pepper to taste.
Steakhouse style: Mix the potatoes with 1 6-oz. tub crème fraiche, 3 slices finely chopped cooked bacon and 2 tablespoons minced chives.
Mediterranean aioli: Stir the potatoes with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup minced oil-cured black olives, and the mashed cloves from 1 head of roasted garlic. (To roast garlic, slice the tip off 1 whole garlic head to expose the cloves, then drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast at 400˚F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft.)
Lemony pesto: Combine the potatoes with 1/2 cup prepared pesto, 1/2 pound cooked green beans chopped into 2-inch lengths, the zest of 1 small lemon and additional olive oil as needed.
Spicy Thai: Mix 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce and 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions and combine with the potatoes.
Buffalo blue cheese: Add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons hot sauce (like Frank's or Tabasco), 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese and 1/4 cup finely diced celery to the potatoes, and stir together to combine.