May is Salad Month and while potato salad is generally more of a side dish, I think it deserves some recognition as well! It’s basically a mixture of cold cooked potatoes, chopped and mixed with a dressing and seasonings. Very versatile, you can make it to anyone’s liking… unless they don’t like potatoes at all, and then you may have a problem. Actually, THEY may have the problem, because who doesn’t like potatoes??
If you’ve never made a potato salad before, I’d suggest starting off with the classic variety: boil, peel and cube 2 pounds russet potatoes; toss with 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix 2 cups mayonnaise, 2 chopped scallions, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 tablespoon each Dijon mustard and vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt. Toss with the potatoes.
Once you have that mastered, mix it up! Substitute red potatoes for russet, pickle juice for vinegar, onions for celery… whatever your taste buds prefer, try it out. In fact, I don’t ever use a recipe when making potato salad. I’m always experimenting with it. I start with the basics and let my creative juices flow, letting my mood determine what the end result will be. These concoctions are some of my favorites:
Mix 2/3 cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup ranch dressing, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 chopped scallions, 3 chopped hard-boiled eggs, 6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt and pepper. Toss with 2 pounds boiled, cubed red potatoes.
Make Bacon-Ranch Potato Salad. Add 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce (or use chipotle ranch instead of regular ranch dressing) and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
Blend 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup mixed parsley and basil, 1 scallion, 1 teaspoon sugar, and some lemon juice and salt. Toss with 2 pounds boiled, halved fingerlings. Top with halved cooked shrimp and diced avocado.
Pico De Gallo
Toss 2 pounds boiled, cubed Yukon golds, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 3 cups fresh salsa and salt to taste.
Ham and Cheese
Mix 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons mustard, 8 ounces cubed ham, 6 ounces shredded cheddar, 1/2 cup each diced red onion and pickles, and 2 tablespoons chopped pickled green chiles. Toss with 2 pounds boiled, cubed Yukon golds.
Boil 2 pounds sliced russets 5 minutes. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary. Grill the potatoes, 1/2 lemon and 1 sliced red onion. Chop the potatoes and onion; toss with olive oil, parsley, salt, and juice from the grilled lemon.
Comment and let me know what your favorite version of potato salad is, I’d love to try out new varieties!
ICGA/ICMB Communications Assistant