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Geraldine's Potato Salad


Geraldine's Potato Salad

Since there are as many versions of potato salad in the South as there are shotguns, every church picnic involved at least a dozen. (Potato salads, not shotguns…) But grandmother — the competitive cook she was — always insisted I taste hers first and last because, as she often reminded us, it was the best.

This version uses almost all of the basic ingredients and secret spices of her original recipe, but lets nutrient rich and almost-calorie-free cauliflower stand in for half of the potatoes.

See all potato recipes.


*Note: Made by Spice Islands, it’s a salty mixture of onion and celery seed that adds a distinct flavor to many Southern dishes. It’s usually available in bigger supermarket chains.


For the dressing

  • 3/4 Cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3/4 Cups nonfat sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard, preferably Gulden’s
  • 2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice from the jar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive juice from the jar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Beau Monde seasoning*
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, plus more for garnish

For the salad

  • 2 1/2 Pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
  • 16 Cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
  • 1 Cup egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
  • 2 Cups liquid egg whites
  • 1 1/2 Cup finely diced dill pickles
  • 1/2 Cup jarred green olives with pimento, packed in vinegar, chopped finely
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped scallion
  • Pepper, to taste


For the dressing

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until well combined. Set aside.

For the salad

Place the potatoes in a large pot with the water and salt over high heat. Bring to a boil, about 20 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook 7-8 more minutes and add the cauliflower.

Cook until both the potatoes and cauliflower are both very, very soft, 25 minutes. Drain into a colander in the sink, wipe out the pot, and coat with cooking spray. Return the potato-cauliflower mixture to the pot and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes to dry them out. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 3-4 minutes.

Coat a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray and place over low heat. Add the egg substitute and cover. Cook just until set, then remove from the heat. Once cooled, chop and set aside. Do the same with the liquid egg whites.

When the potatoes have cooled just a bit, toss together with the cooked eggs, remaining, ingredients, and dressing in the pot and stir very well. (You want the potatoes and cauliflower to break apart a bit and give you a creamy texture.) Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.