Them ’taters and my favorite potato salad

Posted 4/24/20

This week’s recipe is the reason The Kid and I have one of our most cherished annual traditions.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating — I love potato salad.

Honest. If it …

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Them ’taters and my favorite potato salad

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This week’s recipe is the reason The Kid and I have one of our most cherished annual traditions.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating — I love potato salad.

Honest. If it wouldn’t kill me in a matter of weeks, I’d live on nothing but potato salad and heavily frosted birthday cake.

I make many different varieties of potato salad, but this one is a hit with everyone that eats it. It also has a couple of unusual ingredients: broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese.

So years ago, when WRAL had an appeal for interesting dishes for the holidays, I sent in this recipe. I sent it in around October, and when Christmas came and went and it wasn’t used, I forgot all about it.

Gentle Reader, you can then imagine my surprise when the following summer I received an email from Lisa Prince about my potato salad.

Lisa and Brian Shrader have a weekly segment on the noon news, Local Dish, where they make recipes using N.C. ingredients. She was also the host of the PBS show, Flavor NC, all about good food made in North Carolina.

Lisa had chosen my salad for a segment that would air on the news in August. I was very excited and told Lisa that I write food columns for a few local newspapers.

I didn’t know it, but at the time, Lisa also wrangled judges for the special food contests at the N.C. State Fair. (Think the N.C. apple producers or House Autry). She asked me if I thought I could help her out as a judge. I considered her offer (for all of 0.0005 seconds) and said yes before she could change her mind.

Lisa, her awesome sister, Michele, and I have become friends and I’ve been privileged to observe the prep and filming of both Flavor NC and WRAL’s Local Dish segments.

When The Kid graduated from culinary school and moved home from Vermont, Lisa extended an invitation to my child to join the judging panel. I think The Kid thought about it for an even shorter period of time than me.

Each year, at the end of summer, we wait for our packets of info to let us know which contests we’ll judge. We’ve eaten everything from dishes made from Spam to sweet potato ice cream. We adore it.

And to think, none of it would have ever happened if it hadn’t been for an unusual bowl of potato salad.

Thanks for your time.

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High Country Potato Salad

Number of servings: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes


2 pounds waxy potatoes (like Yukon Gold)

1 1/2 large broccoli heads

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


Boil potatoes in heavily salted water just until knife slips in easily. Drain and cool.

Cut broccoli into short-stemmed florets and steam until tender. Shock in ice water to cool and set color. Drain.

Make dressing; whisk together mayo, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Check for seasoning. Stir in cheese and green onions. Cover and refrigerate until ready to make salad.

In large bowl, peel and cut potatoes into bite-size pieces. Add broccoli--give each floret a little smoosh between your fingers to break the stem, but not so much that you smash it.

Add dressing a bit at a time, gently tossing until it’s all coated (you probably won’t need all the dressing).

Let sit at room temp for about 30 minutes before service for flavors to meld.

Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.


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