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LOW-FAT COOKING

Spud Salad

July 08, 1998|DONNA DEANE

The trick to making low-fat salad dressing is obvious: Don't use high-fat mayonnaise. But you don't want to simply substitute low-fat mayonnaise. It just doesn't taste as good as the real thing.

This potato salad had tasters in The Times Test Kitchen coming back for seconds--and these weren't weight watchers. They liked the flavor.

Low-fat mayonnaise is mixed with nonfat yogurt, minced tarragon and garlic, lemon juice and a touch of Dijon mustard. Artichoke hearts, celery and green peas are added to the potatoes for color and crunch.

Red rose, yellow rose and Yukon golds are all good boiling choices for potato salad. Cook them only until they are fork tender, then drain immediately to prevent them from becoming water logged and mushy.

It's best to toss the potatoes with the dressing while they're still warm to allow the flavors to penetrate the potatoes.

When ready to serve, spoon the well-chilled potato salad on a platter of romaine leaves and surround it with tomato slices and sprigs of tarragon.

Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen.

ARTICHOKE POTATO SALAD WITH TARRAGON LEMON DRESSING

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 pounds small red boiling potatoes

1 (13 3/4-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts packed in water, drained

1 cup frozen petite green peas

1 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 teaspoon minced tarragon, plus few sprigs for garnish

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons nonfat milk, optional

Romaine leaves

1 tomato, sliced

Bring large pot of water to boil and stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Add potatoes and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Gently toss together potatoes, artichokes, peas, celery, onion and parsley in mixing bowl. Set aside.

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, minced tarragon, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in separate bowl. Pour dressing over potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Cover and chill several hours or overnight to let flavors blend.

Before serving, add 2 to 3 tablespoons nonfat milk if needed to moisten salad. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Line serving platter with romaine leaves. Spoon potato salad on romaine and garnish with tomato slices and tarragon sprigs. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

12 servings. Each serving, without nonfat milk:

106 calories; 842 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 1.16 grams fiber.

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