When I saw Elise’s macaroni salad, something ticked. Of course, macaroni salad and lettuce go together but I am used to having my macaroni salad served on a bed of lettuce rather than having the lettuce mixed with the salad. But I really liked Elise’s idea — so much that it inspired me to try mixing lettuce with potato salad. I didn’t stop with the lettuce though. I added toasted crushed cashew nuts as well. Why not, I thought. Waldorf salad tastes great with walnuts. Why not potato salad with cashew nuts?
For the basic potato salad recipe, click here. The photo above is of tuna and potato salad but you can use turkey meat (what an idea for Thanksgiving leftovers for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving), chicken meat or chopped ham. Or you can even go all-vegetarian. Your choice.
Chill the potato salad. Before serving, add some torn lettuce. Add the lettuce only to the portion that will be consumed immediately. If you add lettuce to all the salad, the leaves will get watery when you put them back in the fridge.
Use a variety of lettuce that retains its crunch after it comes into contact with the oil in the mayo. Delicate varieties like the lola rosa will wilt fast. Iceberg lettuce is ideal, as Elise says in her tuna potato salad entry, but I’m not a fan of iceberg lettuce so I used the light green portions — the crunchy parts — of the romaine lettuce.
Then, I took a small handful of cashew nuts — the cooked ready-to-eat kind that you can buy from the supermarket — crushed them on the chopping board with a cleaver then threw them into a hot oil-free frying pan. After a minute or so of tossing the crushed cashew nuts, they were lightly browned. I tipped the frying pan over the salad and let the crushed cashew nuts fall where they may.
And the result was just amazing. Until today, the only crunch I got with my potato salad was from the celery but with the added crisp from the lettuce and toasted cashew nuts… ahhh, what an experience. The nuts, especially. I never imagined that those tiny bits could make such a difference. I felt vindicated after the onion soup that no one would eat. :razz: