Potato salad

A creamy All-American potato salad perfect for summer picnics and barbecues. Tender russet potatoes combined with hard boiledeggs and celery, red onions, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and mustard for a tasty side dish.

When you think about summertime, potato salad is one essential item that always makes it on the table, especially when serving barbecued food. This All-American potato salad is the ultimate recipe that will have everyone coming back for another serving!

When researching cooking techniques for making a creamy classic potato salad, there is an abundance of options. I found a technique from Cook’s Illustrated that started cooking of the potatoes in cold water, followed by a marination in vinegar step to maximize the taste of the spuds.

The creaminess of russet potatoes combined with traditional ingredients and seasonings found in your pantry makes this dish easy to prepare. This potato salad recipe is so tasty that I used it as a base to make a healthier version with yogurt. No matter what variation you try, using this basic potato cooking technique will give you delicious results every time!

How to make potato salad

Potato selection

The cooking process

Start cooking the potatoes in cold salted water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. This process allows the flavor of the salt to be absorbed into the potatoes and give an evenly cooked texture. Don’t overcook otherwise they may fall apart completely when mixed. I always check a few times to make sure the chunks are fork-tender. It takes about 8 minutes to cook the potatoes.

Adding vinegar

When the potatoes are warm, they are better at absorbing flavor. Toss in two tablespoons of vinegar right after cooking, allow and stir to sit for 20 minutes. The vinegar slowly infuses into each piece giving some tartness with each bite to compliment the creaminess of the dressing. Apple cider vinegar can be substituted for distilled vinegar for a milder pungency.

The essential ingredients

The classic ingredients for potato salad are hard-boiledmayonnaise and eggs, Dijon mustard (or yellow mustard), dill pickle relish, red onion, and celery. I usually skip the miracle whip and make my own homemade mayonnaise. These elements create a balance of tangy, crunchy, creaminess and sweet textures.

pepper, onion and Salt powder is used for seasoning. Feel free to sprinkle in some whole celery seeds, or a few teaspoons of sweet pickle juice. For a Hawaiian-inspired potato salad add in some choppedham and pineapple, and Fuji apples. Don’t be afraid to play around to find your favorite combination!

Make it ahead of time

This potato salad can be assembled and prepared up to 2 days before serving. I like to shop some fresh onions and parsley to garnish on the top. Onions that have been pre-cut tend to smell more sulfurous.

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #jessicagavin on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

The benefit of starting with cold water

The potatoes should start in cold water then gradually brought to a boil, then simmer to finish cooking. This culinary school tip I learned prevents the outside from cooking too fast and the interior taking more time. This is important for when you want to retain chunks of potato.

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