With summer picnics and backyard barbecues in full swing, here is a truly tangy potato salad that's bound to brighten up any outdoor menu.

This is a recipe that was sent to me by a reader several years ago, and it has become a favorite in my own family. If you want a little more bite in this salad, just add a little more red and black pepper, to taste.


2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard

1 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1/2 cup red- or white-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped green onions

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Red and green bell pepper slices, for garnish (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, with the lid ajar, 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool.

2. Combine the garlic, red-pepper flakes, mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar and oil in a bowl and mix well. Cut the cooled potatoes into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the mustard mixture and all remaining ingredients except the garnishes, and mix well. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least eight hours or overnight before serving. If the consistency is too thick, add 2 tablespoons water. Makes 12, 1/2-cup servings.

Each serving contains approximately: 126 calories; 3 gm fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 342 mg sodium; 22 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 3 gm fiber.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, Deseret Morning News, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (58 cents), self-addressed envelope. ┬ęKing Features Syndicate Inc.