Quick Steps Overview: Potato Salad
- Gather all the tools and ingredients
- Boil the potatoes
- Set up an ice bath
- Peel the potatoes
- Chop the potatoes
- Season lightly
- De-flame the onions
- Prepare the dressing
- Add dressing and other ingredients
- Season the salad
- Serve with your favorite side
Potato salad lovers, UNITE! Today’s blog is for folks who love a big bowl of creamy, mustard-y, pickle-y, yummy potato salad. Over the years, people have experimented with this dish and come up with pretty delicious renditions of the salad. However, if you are looking for a traditional mayo-based salad then you’ve reached the right page.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn but once you try this potato salad recipe, family barbecues, picnics, and game day lunches are going to feel incomplete without the creamy goodness of this salad. So let’s bid farewell to the nasty store-bought salad and take a look at this easy yet wholesome, family loved potato recipe.
1. What’s In A Potato Salad?
Balance is key when you are making a potato salad. For me, the best potato salad is one in which creamy, tangy, sweet, salty, tender, and crunchy flavors and texture meet in perfect harmony.
A classic potato salad uses basic ingredients that you can find easily in your pantry. Some of those ingredients are-
- Potatoes: Duh! It’s not potato salad, without potatoes. While I talk more about this in detail in the next section, you need to pick medium-sized potatoes as this will help you prepare the salad in a big quantity, enough to feed your party or store to eat in the days to come.
- Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs blend beautifully in potato salad, however, if you aren’t a big egg fan, you can leave them out of your salad if you want to.
- Celery: I was not a celery person until I tried it in my potato salad. Celery adds a pleasant crunch to the otherwise soft textured and creamy potato salad.
- Onion: Raw onions might not be everyone’s preferred choice, but once you “de-flame” the onions, chop them up, and add small bits of them to the salad, it gives it a whole new personality. However, make sure you cut the onion into uniform small pieces so no one bites into a big chunk of raw onion.
- Mayonnaise: The creaminess of mayo brings all the ingredients together. Instead of adding mayo straight to the salad, I suggest you mix it up with the other sauce, give it a good stir so all the flavors combine, and then dunk that mixture into the salad. Don’t forget to give it a taste and adjust the seasoning before you add it to the potatoes.
- Mustard: For this potato salad, you can use your favorite mustard. Classic yellow mustard or Dijon mustard goes very well with this salad.
- Relish: Sweet pickle relish will add a nice boost of acidity to the salad. If you don’t want the added tinge of sweetness, you can also substitute the relish for some chopped-up gherkin pickles that are less sweet.
- Seasonings: While the recipe calls for some basic seasonings like salt and pepper, some people even like adding extras like paprika and garlic powder. You can also throw in some finely mixed herbs like dill, chives, and tarragon to your salad.
2. Best Potatoes To Use For Potato Salad
Technically you can use any kind of potatoes you have at home to make this salad, but if you want the best results, this is what you should go for:
- Pick small or medium-sized thin-skilled waxy potatoes.
- You can choose yellow, white, or red potatoes for this as they are quick cooking and quicker to chop.
- Leave the potatoes whole when you cook them. Whole-cooked potatoes maintain their original flavor and natural sweetness. This also results in better-textured potatoes.
- Try and avoid using russet potatoes for this as they tend to fall apart. However, if that’s all you have don't worry it will still do the job.
3. How To Cook Potatoes For Potato Salad?
For this recipe, I suggest you simmer potatoes whole in salted water. Here are some things to keep in mind when cooking potatoes for this salad:
- Do not forget to SALT the cooking water. Add a generous amount of salt to the cooking water. This will help bring out the flavors of the potatoes.
- When it comes to cooking potatoes for a pasta salad, SIMMER, don’t boil. When you boil potatoes, they violently bash against each other. Instead, bring the water with the potatoes to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Potatoes are cooked when you can PUSH A FORK through the center.
- When done, drain the potatoes and add them to an ICE BATH. This will stop them from cooking. In 2 to 3 minutes they should be cool enough for you to handle.
4. Tools You Will Need To Make Potato Salad
Here’s a list of tools that will help you cut prep time for the salad in half and make the cooking process faster:
Cutting Board: A sturdy cutting board can make all the difference when you are making potato salad. It demands a fair amount of chopping and prep work and this tool can help you do that with ease and speed.
Chef’s Knife: Uniform pieces of potato add life to this salad. Grab a sharp chef’s knife to chop up potatoes, eggs, and other veggies with precision and comfort.
Paring & Peeling Knife: Peel the potatoes swiftly and quickly with a short-bladed, razor-sharp peeling knife.
- Peeler: If you aren’t confident about peeling with a sharp knife, you can also go for a Y peeler or a Swivel peeler.
- StockPot: A well-sized stockpot is the best when you have to boil or simmer potatoes. This will also come in handy when you have to toss the salad to mix it up.
5. Recipe: Potato Salad
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total: 35 Minutes
- 2 pounds Medium-Sized Potatoes (yellow, red, or white)
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (or Rice Wine Vinegar)
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard (or Dijon)
- 3 Celery Stalks (finely chopped, ½ cup)
- ½ medium Red Onion (finely chopped, ½ cup)
- 1 medium Dill Pickle (finely chopped, about ⅓ cup)
- 2 Hard-Boiled Eggs (peeled and chopped)
- ¼ cup Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Dill, Chives, Tarragon, or Cilantro, finely chopped)
- Salt and Black Pepper (as per taste)
- Set up the cooking station and assemble all the tools and ingredients listed above.
- Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with 1½ inches of water. Season with salt.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, add cold water to a medium-sized bowl filled with ice.
- Drain the potatoes and then place them into the ice bath.
- When cool, peel the potatoes by gently pinching the skin and pulling it away.
- Chop up the peeled potatoes into bite-size chunks. Add these chunks to a large bowl or a stockpot.
- Scatter the vinegar all over the potatoes and lightly season with salt.
- While the potatoes cook, add the onions to a small bowl and cover it with cold water for 10 minutes.
- Then rinse the potatoes. Note: This will help tone down the raw flavor of onions.
- In a bowl, stir the sour cream, mayo, and mustard.
- Add this dressing, de-flamed onions, celery, pickles, eggs, and herbs to the potatoes.
- Gently stir to combine. Note: Be careful with this step as you don’t want to mash up the potatoes too much.
- Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before you dig in.
- Serve the potato salad with your favorite sides like corn on the cob, garlic sauteed veggies, flatbread, or anything else you’re in the mood for.
6. Tips & Tricks
- You can substitute the sour cream for ½ a cup of crème fraîche.
- To cut down on prep time for your big party, you can also make the potato salad up to 3 days in advance.
- A Southern potato salad, a spicy peri-peri one, experimenting with seasonings and herbs of your choice is always a great idea.
- For best results, start cooking the potatoes in a pot of cold water where they are fully submerged. From there, bring the water to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. This is only recommended when you have some extra time.
- The potatoes should be cooked well so they are soft, tender, and creamy. Do not try to cut the cooking time short as you could end up with firm, crunchy potatoes that could ruin the texture of the salad.
7. How To Store Potato Salad?
The best part about a classic potato salad is the fact that it is very easy to store.
- The salad should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. It should last for 3-4 days
- Do not let the potato salad sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours, or even less on a warm day.
- If you’re serving the creamy salad at a picnic or BBQ, place the serving bowl in a bed of ice to keep it cool.
- You can also freeze the potato salad. To do this, let the salad cool completely, then spoon it into an airtight freezer bag and lay it flat. Squeeze out as much air as you can without crushing the salad.
- If you have a lot of salad, use 2 or more bags. Remember to store it in thin layers as that is best for freezing and thawing the salad.
- Properly frozen potato salad can last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When it’s time to eat the frozen potato salad, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remember that you might have to add a little more dressing before serving potato salad that has been frozen.
8. Top Dalstrong Picks For You
This medium-sized cutting board is perfect to help you prep large quantities of food, especially when making something like a potato salad. It is big enough to fit all the ingredients while making sure you don’t make a mess of your kitchen. This meticulously hand-crafted board is made of Teak which is a luxury wood, naturally resistant to water, bacteria, and staining.
- The “end-grain” fabrication of this board contains fibrous wood grain in alternating directions which helps prevent damage to the board.
- The checkered construction of the board makes it a slip-resistant surface. This ensures that all the food you chop up stays in one place and doesn’t roll around your kitchen counter.
- This board is very easy to maintain and the tight wood grain provides it with a long-lasting hygienic cutting surface.
- The board also boasts 2 steel handles that easily transform the cutting board into a beautiful serving board.
- The price of this board might not make this everyone’s first choice, especially if you are someone who doesn't cook that often.
- This board might prove to be small for someone that’s prepping very large quantities of food. In that case, you can also go for this cutting board.
Potato salad demands a lot of chopping which is why it becomes very important to use a knife that is not only sharp but lightweight and comfortable to hold. The screamingly sharp cutting edge of this knife is designed for maneuverability and precision.
- The knife is designed to be sleek, aggressive, and muscular looking with an effective razor-sharp blade.
- The blade comes with a non-reflective coating that improves robustness by making the knife corrosion-resistant and enhancing its non-stick properties.
- This knife is stunning! The blood-red knife is an investment, especially if you are someone who enjoys cooking.
- The style and design of this blade might be too bold for someone who has a minimalistic sense of style.
- Some chefs might prefer a hand-wood handle for better grip as compared to this knife’s handle.
- The blade has a super pointed tip which can cause injury. However, if stored properly in the sheath provided, this should not be a problem.
This is the ultimate tool for peeling potatoes or any other vegetables. This is also an excellent knife for fluting mushrooms, creating decorative fruit or vegetable garnish, or preparing charcuterie displays. Peeling large volumes of potatoes becomes a breeze with this short yet sharp blade.
- The edge of the blade is painstakingly honed by expert craftsmen to 16-18 degrees. This helps ensure clean, precise cuts with excellent edge retention and ease of sharpening.
- The solid steel design ensures incredible toughness and resilience. This blade also goes through an intent heat treatment followed by a deep-freeze nitrogen cooling process that enhances the hardness and flexibility.
- The gorgeous and stylish blade is also very easy to maintain as it cleans easily.
- The all-steel handle can be a problem for some as it tends to get slippery when used for a long time.
- If you need something to help you peel and cut up bigger fruits and vegetables, you can also go for a slightly longer paring knife.
If you are new to cooking and are not very confident when it comes to peeling potatoes with a sharp knife, you can also go for a Y-Peeler. With this peeler, you can also make vegetable ribbons for salads and sandwiches, shave cheese slices, zest citrus, carve chocolate curls, grate the butter and even strip away the stringy fibers from celery.
- The peeler comes with 3 stainless steel blades, fine, serrated, and julienne, that can help you with any cooking task. This will help you prep for your lunch or dinner party faster, without causing too much wrist fatigue.
- The peeler is designed to maneuver around corners, tight spaces, and protrusions with ease. The suspended blade self-adjusts to the food’s surface as you peel for better agility.
- The stain-resistant design of this peeler ensures that cleaning is a snap, making this a kitchen tool that is easy to store and maintain.
- For those who don’t cook very often, investing in a peeler might not make sense. In that case, you can go for a short-bladed knife that will also help you chop, slice, dice, and mince.
- If you want something specifically for peeling only, you can also go for a swivel peeler.
From boiling potatoes to mixing them up with the dressing, this stockpot will be by your side at every step of the potato salad recipe. This high-performing, medium-weight, and ultra-functional piece of cookware also comes with a non-stick coating that is built to last forever.
- The cookware is perfect for boiling and simmering potatoes for the salad as it boasts impeccable conductivity to quickly heat up and evenly cook anything you place inside it.
- The thick gauge layers of non-reactive stainless steel excel at browning and braising foods and also dramatically prolong the pot’s life.
- Compared to another non-stick coating, this one is tested to be 26 times better in terms of food release. This ensures that the foods, especially those that call for slow-cooking do not stick to the pot or burn.
- The pot comes with a transparent glass lid which makes it easy for you to keep a check on the food cooking inside.
- This 3-quart pot might be a little small, especially if you’re preparing the potato salad for a big party.
- The pot only comes with 1 handle which might not be the preferred choice of some cooks and chefs.
9. Frequently Asked Questions
How does Gordon Ramsay make potato salad?
For Gordan Ramsay-style potato salad, boil potatoes and soften peas and asparagus in salted water. Whisk peeled potatoes, peas, and asparagus in a bowl containing olive oil, onions, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle chopped parsley and chives on it, and serve.
How do you make potato salad taste better?
Consider a little celery seed or some fresh dill. Both add a wonderful flavor to the salad. You can also experiment with the veggies that go into the salad. Throw in some color, crunch, and spice and you won’t have a bland-tasting potato salad anymore.
Do you have to put eggs in the potato salad?