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Seriously Simple: Celebrate Fourth of July with these traditional side salads

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

As a Seriously Simple cook, I develop ways to streamline and reinterpret classic dishes. Sometimes the traditional dishes don’t need much alteration. Case in point, these two classic salads are always welcome on a picnic or barbecue event. Little adjustments like apple in the slaw and celery seed in the potato salad are familiar tiny twists.

The slaw is threaded with crisp-sweet apple shreds and enhanced with the maple syrup. Citrus and vinegar counteract the sweetness creating just the right balance.

The rustic unpeeled potato salad adds celery seed to the creamy dressing along with hard boiled eggs for a slight spin on the classic.

Both salads would be welcome accompaniments to sandwiches, barbecued chicken, ribs, burgers, steaks or pulled pork. Easy to put together and can be made a day ahead, these chilled side salads are a happy tradition. Happy Fourth!

Cabbage Apple Slaw with Citrus Maple Dressing

Serves 8 to 10

For the dressing:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the slaw:

1 Fuji, Honeycrisp or Envy apple, peeled, cored and shredded

2 (1 pound) packages shredded coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Combine the dressing ingredients on the bottom of a serving bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add the shredded apple, raw coleslaw mix and toss evenly with tongs until all of the cabbage is coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors meld. Garnish with parsley.

Advance preparation: The slaw can be made one day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Toss before serving.

Diane’s Classic Potato Salad

Serves 6 to 8


3 pounds medium red or Yellow (Yukon Gold) potatoes, rinsed

For the dressing:

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 celery stalks, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 teaspoons celery seed

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Parsley sprigs, for garnish

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, depending upon their size, or until tender but slightly resistant when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool. Do not peel. When cool, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, celery, chives, celery seed, parsley, chopped egg, Dijon, salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Pour mixture over potatoes and mix gently until coated. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate at least 1-2 hours or up to 8 hours ahead.

4. To serve, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve cold.

Advance preparation: The potato salad can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Taste for seasoning before serving.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at

©2024 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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