classic potato salad
I, apparently, have so much to say about potato salad, that I’ve been staring at this page for the last four days not sure of what to write. At first, blamed writer’s block, but then I realized it wasn’t so much as that I didn’t know what to say about potatoes, it was more that I didn’t know how to start writing because at once I had so many thoughts running through my head.
I grew up eating a lot of potatoes in all its permutations – I don’t think I’ve ever come across a potato I didn’t like. Boiled, fried, baked, mashed – I’ve loved every version in its own way. I can eat potatoes cold straight from the fridge with a bit of salt, olive oil and freshly cut onion, topped with a few pieces of herring or some other smoked fish. To me – this meal is heaven. And I don’t think the Sassy Radish household has spent a day without potatoes in its pantry – it would feel naked and empty otherwise.
In these hot, sticky months, my thoughts shift to potato salad – cold, perfect-for-a-barbecue potato salad. I could really spend a lifetime celebrating eternal summer with corn on the cob, lobster rolls and blueberry pie. Oh, and potato salad. Because what summer potluck is complete without one?
My favorite way to do this salad in the summer, because Sassy Radish loves potato salad enough to already feature two versions, is to throw everything but the kitchen sink in. True to form, I couldn’t abstain from throwing a bit of horseradish in there for an extra bite, and I think it was the right call to make.
I never know how to classify potatoes – starch or vegetable? It’s always a bit confusing to me, as I want to do both. Not a grain and definitely technically a vegetable – for something so pedestrian, potatoes have managed to be enigmatic. One thing is clear however – they are versatile, filling and comforting no how you view them. And with a plateful of this salad on your plate, eternal summer, if you want it, can be yours as well.
Classic Potato Salad
2 pounds medium red potatoes (do not peel)
6 kosher dill pickles (smallish size)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped roughly
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt (not Greek as it’s too thick)
2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Champagne vinegar
3 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 tbsp horseradish
[salt/pepper to taste]
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. You want about an inch to two inches of water on top of the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool potatoes to room temperature. [You can always refrigerate your potatoes and finish them later in the day or the following day.]
When at room temperature (or cold), roughly cut the potatoes. I prefer my potato salad chunky as potatoes get all mashed up during the mixing. So, I recommend cutting your potato in half and the cutting those halves either into quarters or six pieces (depending on the size of your red potatoes).
Place into a large bowl and combine with the remaining vegetables/eggs. About an hour before serving, in a medium bowl, mix together mayo, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, dill, and horseradish. Mix your dressing into the salad and stir until everything is evenly coated.
[You can prep your salad and dressing a day before and let sit in the refrigerator, combining an hour before serving. Salad is best at room temperature to slightly chilled. It is summer, after all.]