Replace The Pasta And Potatoes In Cold Summer Salads With This Veggie

Who says potatoes and pasta have to be the foundation for chilled salads? Well, believe it or not, potato salad was originally invented in South America (per All About Potatoes), and macaroni salad originates in America despite pasta being of Italian heritage (per Taste).

According to NPR, potatoes were once boiled in wine, vinegar, and spices for potato salad. Instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing, they were coated in olive oil or other types of fat that were more readily available (via Just A Pinch). The Kitchn actually states that the dish was first called "cold-slaw." But why were potatoes the veggie of choice? According to Connect2Local, South American natives ate potatoes regularly, proving they were abundant. When discovering how to incorporate them into dishes, the salad was born — and once Germany got ahold of it, it spread throughout the world.

It's rumored that macaroni salad piggy backed off potato salad once Germany took the reins. A recipe by the Washington Post from 1930 even called the dish the "mock potato salad" (via Taste). People saw what mayonnaise could do and decided to throw it into cold pasta with other last-day leftovers — now it's found in stores all over America.

While pasta and potatoes are delicious in their own way, let's keep an open mind. It took pasta salad approximately 50 years to hop on the chilled salad train (via Food TImeline) — it's never too late for, say, a crisp green veggie to hop in the spotlight.

Broccoli salad is the new summer salad

Add extra nutrients to your next mayonnaise-y dish by swapping in broccoli for the potatoes or pasta. Not only is this cruciferous vegetable low in calories, sky-high in fiber, and packed with protein (per Healthline), but it also contains enough calcium to curb that late-night ice cream craving. According to AlgaeCal, broccoli is known as the "Crown Jewel of Nutrition," making it the perfect addition to your menu this grilling season. The best part? Broccoli salad requires zero cooking, whereas potatoes and pasta need to be boiled beforehand. Simply check for freshness, toss it together, and devour — and don't worry, it's even easy to store leftover broccoli for salad another time.

The classic mix-ins for broccoli salad to balance out the earthiness of the veggie include bacon bits, red onion, cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds (via Shugary Sweets). While some broccoli salad recipes use Greek yogurt as the creamy base, you can spruce it up with a mayonnaise dressing mixed with a sweeter component like honey and a tangy addition such as rice wine vinegar. Mix it up, and after a few hours in the fridge, the flavors marry, the broccoli becomes tender, and you're guaranteed to be hooked at the first bite.