All-American Potato Salad, Grilled-Corn and Eating in Your Bathing Suit

The swimming pool days are upon us. Does anything cut through the heat like a jump in the pool? It's time to throw some food on the grill and eat outside in our bathing suits. 

What's that? You don't have a pool, you say? Well then find someone who does, and bring a couple of salads over. It's the perfect trade-off. 

This week we made Martha's All-American Potato Salad and Grilled-Corn and Tomato Salad.

We learned a couple of things from Martha's All-American Potato Salad recipe. One was to boil the potatoes with their skins on in a large pot of water. When we peeled the still-hot potatoes they had a nice texture and flavor and had not absorbed too much water. Martha tosses the warm diced potatoes with cider vinegar. 

Also, for the dressing this recipe calls for one cup of mayonnaise, celery seed, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. But the ingenious part, new to us anyway, is to thin the mixture with a couple of tablespoons of hot water and whisk before adding to the potatoes and other chopped veggies. We've always just globbed more mayonnaise in to the mix to ensure it was moist enough but thinning with a little hot water worked really well. Definitely a tip we will use again. 

The second salad, the Grilled-Corn and Tomato Salad, provided a lot of bang for the buck - easy to throw together but big on flavor. You take three ears of corn and remove the husks. Then, heat a grill to high, place corn on grill until lightly browned and charred. (You could also do this in the oven by placing the corn under the broiler and making sure to turn occasionally). 

With a sharp knife you cut the corn of the cob into a bowl. Add diced tomato (we used little sugar plum tomatoes in place of the beefsteak tomato Martha calls for), diced orange bell pepper, 2 scallions, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. The grilled corn is sweet and smoky and compliments the other foods off the grill. We served ours with a little barbecued chicken. 

Bonus, both of the salads will only get better with a little time to chill in the refrigerator, so get yourself back to the pool.