Broomfield, Colo. — Colorado is good at growing potatoes, whether it’s in the San Luis Valley, Eastern Plains, or even on the Front Range! Perhaps the most well known potatoes come from the San Luis Valley, which is home to many potato farming families who grow more than 70 varieties of potatoes. With plenty of sunshine and higher elevations, the valley’s mild growing conditions are ideal for potatoes. They even celebrate the potato with its very own festival!
The potato, or Solanum tuberosum, is in the plant family Solanaceae (nightshades). It is related to peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants, but is adapted to higher elevations and therefore able to thrive within harsher growing conditions. Native to the Andes region of South America, they were brought to Europe and later North America centuries ago. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber, and are naturally fat free (Learn more at Colorado State University Extension).
From well-known varieties such as Russet and Yukon Gold to specialty potatoes like Purple Majesty and French Fingerling, Colorado grows more than 70 different varieties of potatoes. The state produces more than 2 billion pounds of potatoes annually, making Colorado the fifth largest potato producer in the nation.
End of summer farmers markets are full of great produce. Find a market near you by checking our 2023 Farm Fresh Directory that is available in both English and Spanish! Then, pick up a fun new variety of local potato to make your potato salad really pop, or stay with a tried and true yellow or white potato for that classic taste.
Our state is so bountiful with produce, protein, beverages and other goodies especially in the height of the season. Use past Colorado Proud recipes to utilize other food and agricultural products in meals.
Chef Jason says, “Use Colorado purple potatoes, grown right here in our own backyard, to make a traditional potato salad pop with color and flavor! Happy Cooking!”
Colorado Potato Salad
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert
Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook Time: n/a
- 1 ½ cups of full fat mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 tbsp of your favorite savory BBQ rub
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper, ground
- 4 tbsp buffalo sauce or favorite hot sauce
- 1 tbsp hot honey
- 2 pounds purple potatoes, cooked until fork tender, cooled and wedged
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
- green onions for garnish
- Boil potatoes until fork tender.
- Drain water and run cold water over potatoes until cool.
- Drain completely and place potatoes uncovered in the refrigerator until completely cooled.
- While potatoes are cooling, mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl and store in the fridge.
- Once potatoes are cooled, wedge or half them depending on size of potatoes.
- Place potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
- Add blue cheese crumbles and diced red onion.
- Add dressing (as light or as heavy as you prefer).
- Mix well to combine.
- Garnish with green onions and drizzle with additional buffalo sauce.
Try this salad with a chilled glass of Restoration Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, which is light bodied and dry, with a crisp minerality. Or if you’re in the Parker area, try Barnet & Son Brewing Company, a family craft brewery whose flagship beer, the light blonde ale Newlin Gulch, would be perfect for a warm fall afternoon. For a non-alcoholic option, enjoy your meal with fresh juices from Big B such as peach apricot, lemonade, or classic apple juice.
Visit ColoradoProud.org for more ideas and a complete list of recipes.