A BookTrib Reprint (06/12)with upcoming July 4th picnics in mind.


In this beautiful volume, a love letter to American food, Martha Stewart, who has so significantly influenced the American table, collects her most favorite national dishes, as well as the stories and traditions behind them. These are recipes that will delight you with nostalgia, inspire you, and teach you about our nation by way of its regions and their distinctive flavors. Above all, these are time-honored recipes that you will turn to again and again.

Part of the charm of a picnic is its informality, whether you are in a sunny glade or right in your own backyard. What better addition to the menu than a wonderful potato salad. Here is an excerpt from Martha’s American Food for your next cookout or picnic.  Enjoy – and don’t forget to make lots!

Classic Potato Salad

4 pounds russet potatoes (about 8 medium)

Coarse salt

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 large eggs

1 cup mayonnaise

½ teaspoon celery seeds

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

10 cornichons, cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water by several inches. Bring to a boil, then add 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce heat and gently boil until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 25 minutes. Drain. Peel potatoes while still hot, using paper towels to protect hands; cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with vinegar; let cool.

2. Place eggs in a small saucepan; fill with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; turn off heat. Cover; let stand 11 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cold water; let cool and peel. Cut 2 eggs into ¼-inch dice. Slice remaining egg into ¼-inch- thick rounds; reserve for garnish.

3. Combine diced eggs, mayonnaise, celery seeds, and dry mustard in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion, cornichons, scallions, and parsley. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Just before serving, garnish with paprika and egg rounds.

Serves 10 to 12


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