Fourth-of-July Fare: The Best Potato Salad

One of the dishes I made for my June Mommy Dinner was potato salad.  It is absolutely fabulous, and I have been making it for years to serve alongside my fried chicken and collards.  The original recipe came out of one of the 80s Silver Palate cookbooks, but I have adapted over the years to suit my family.

Potato salad recipes are by nature very forgiving.  You can mess around with the ingredients and still end up with a decent potato salad.  I personally think the difference between good and great is the type of potato you use and how you treat them.

I use Yukon gold potatoes, then white, never russets, and maybe reds if the grocery hasn’t any Yukons.  The Yukons provide a creaminess that adds to both flavor and texture.  Super-taster (yes, he can taste PTC) Kurt can tell when I’ve not used his favorite Yukons…

I also boil my potatoes whole and in their jackets.  For this reason, I don’t buy the prepackaged bags of potatoes when I’m making this dish; I hand pick mine to ensure they’re all roughly the same size and will cook evenly.  Too mushy and the salad falls apart.  Too raw– well, who hasn’t had a bite of raw potato?  Yucko.  I put my potatoes in cold water then bring the pot to a boil, adding salt once the water has begun to boil.  Fifteen minutes later, the potatoes are usually fork tender; if not, I let them go a few minutes more.

When you cook potatoes in their skins, you preserve not only their flavor, but their nutrients.  However, once you drain them, it takes a while for them to cool enough to be handled and peeled.  (During this time, I boil the eggs.  Click here for my post on how to boil eggs.  There are TONS of eggs in this recipe).

Once peeled and chopped into rough chunks, the potatoes are coated with a vinegar and olive oil marinade while still warm.  Talk about flavor!  That tangy taste that typically comes solely through the dressing is now absorbed by those potato bits.

This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd– perfect for a full-house Mommy Dinner (with leftovers) or a Happy Birthday USA picnic!  Enjoy!

A Fourth-of-July Potato Salad

  • 4 lbs of same-sized Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled or chopped
  • 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 pepper
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 18 large eggs, hard-boiled and cut into eighths
  • 1 c celery, cut into thin 1/2 to 1 inch slivers
  • 1 c  red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 c mayonnaise
  • 5 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 c Italian parsley, chopped

Scrub the potatoes and place in a large pot.  Cover with water by 1 to 2 inches and bring the water to a boil.  Salt water and cook potatoes for 15 minutes or until fork tender.

Buy potatoes that are the same size so they cook evenly!

Buy potatoes that are the same size so they cook evenly!

While potatoes cook, chop the celery into 1/2 to 1-inch long thin sticks.

You're making little celery sticks

You’re making little celery sticks

Slice the onion very thinly.  Set both celery and onion aside.

Bits of color and flavor

Bits of color and flavor

Prepare the marinade for the potatoes by measuring the white vinegar into a 1-cup measuring cup.  Add the salt and stir to dissolve.

Salt and vinegar-- just like the potato chips!

Salt and vinegar– just like the potato chips!

Add the pepper, then whisk in the olive oil.  Set aside.

This marinade infuses so much flavor into the spuds!

This marinade infuses so much flavor into the spuds!

When potatoes are ready, drain and place back into the pot.  Let potatoes rest until cool enough to handle.

Let these cook until you can hold them to peel

Let these cook until you can hold them to peel

While potatoes cool, boil the eggs (see link above).  Let eggs rest in cool water until ready to peel and slice.

When the potatoes have cooled sufficiently, peel off the skins and any brown/hard spots, then slice them with a knife.  (I cut each potato over my mixing bowl and let the potatoes just drop down).

Make sure they are cool enough so you don't burn yourself!

Make sure they are cool enough so you don’t burn yourself!

Warm potatoes. I cut mine into fairly big chunks since they break apart a bit when mixed with the other goodies

Warm potatoes. I cut mine into fairly big chunks since they break apart a bit when mixed with the other goodies

Pour the oil/vinegar marinade over the warm potatoes and toss well with a metal spoon so all pieces of potato are well coated.

I will usually taste the potatoes to make sure there's enough salt.

I will usually taste the potatoes to make sure there’s enough salt.

Add the red onion, celery, mayo and mustard and mix gently to combine.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

You don't have to have the salad fully mixed since you still have to add the eggs

You don’t have to have the salad fully mixed since you still have to add the eggs

Peel the eggs and slice them into quarters.  Add them to the potatoes.

I told you there were a ton of eggs!

I told you there were a ton of eggs!

Now you want to mix the salad thoroughly.  Add more mayonnaise if needed, then add the parsley and mix again.

I sometimes hold off adding the parsley until just before serving if I'm making this ahead of time

I usually add just half the parsley if I’m making this ahead of time, and add the remaining half just before serving because the just-cut parsley adds a great freshness to the salad!

Correct for seasonings and chill in the refrigerator.

Where's the fried chicken?

Where’s the fried chicken?

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4 Comments

Filed under Family, Food, Friends

4 responses to “Fourth-of-July Fare: The Best Potato Salad

  1. Sue M.

    Wow! Looks fabulous! But since I don’t ever cook for 24 people, I’ll be doing some higher math to cut it down to size.

  2. grace

    This is seriously the best potato salad I have ever eaten. The day after we all eat it for breakfast!!!

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