I have hated potato salad my entire life. My grandma used to buy it from her favorite deli and serve it often, especially during the summer when she was making a cold dinner, and I could never understand the appeal. To me it looked disgusting and tasted even worse. So I don’t really know why I saved this recipe and tucked it into my “Salads” binder long ago, but thank goodness I did, because over the July 4th holiday I felt inspired to whip up a batch of this Classic Potato Salad and now my entire immediate and extended family are head over heels in love with it (and me). Welcome to Day 2 of Salad Week! Even if you think you absolutely hate potato salad, I think this wonderful recipe will make a convert of you!!
Funny, I never thought of potato salad as comfort food, but it really, totally is—every bite is creamy and starchy, with just the right amount of crunch and flavor. Not to mention the nostalgia factor since we generally associate it with those carefree summer picnics and bbq’s.
And speaking of summer parties, this dish is really, super-duper perfect to serve at all your summer celebrations. It comes together easily, can be made a day ahead, pretty much goes with whatever the main course is and I can personally guarantee that people will ooh and aah over it.
Be prepared for recipe requests…and for hiding any leftovers in the back of your fridge if you hope to enjoy any yourself. Some not-to-be-named children have already polished off all of ours!!!
Classic Potato Salad
Makes 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes (much of this time is letting the potatoes boil), plus you need to make the hard boiled eggs ahead of time so they can chill
3 pounds russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
5 large hard boiled eggs, peeled, chilled and grated
1 small onion, finely chopped (preferably Vidalia)
4 large celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1. Peel the potatoes, cut into small bite-sized cubes (about 1/2-inch) and place into a large pot of cold water. Season the water with a pinch or two of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Then lower the heat to medium and let the potatoes cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool a bit.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, grated eggs, onion, celery and relish. Once the potatoes are just lukewarm, pour the dressing over them and toss to coat the potatoes completely. Taste and season with more salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and chill. You can definitely make this a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bob Appetit, Y’All by Virginia Willis.