Potato salad is one of my ultimate summertime comfort foods. My grandma would make this potato salad all of the time. The sauce was a thick, creamy, stick-to-the-potatoes-and-your-spoon kind of dressing with a kiss of salt and pepper and a hint of yellow mustard. Just as potato salad should be.
She would bring this potato salad to almost every family gathering, especially during the summer. It was rare that she would take any leftovers home. It was just that good.
Like most of her recipes grandma never wrote her potato salad down. She cooked by look, feel, and taste. I guess I got that gene from her. If it weren’t for this blog I wouldn’t write down a single one of my recipes, either.
As summer rolled around I got a hankering for my grandma’s potato salad. It’s as comforting as soup in the winter. Of course, I could have just whipped up a batch and hogged it all to myself, but I wanted to share this fool-proof potato salad recipe with you. How nice of me, huh?
Thankfully my grandma taught my mom her potato salad recipe. One quick phone call to my mom and I was ready for some creamy potato salad goodness.
My first batch of this potato salad didn’t go so well. I did 2 things wrong:
- I rinsed the potatoes right after they were boiled. I discovered this was a big huge no-no. My potato salad ended up lacking that starchy, creamy goodness where the sauce clings to the potatoes, the bowl, and the spoon. The water rinses all of those beautiful potato starches right down the drain. Lesson learned: no rinsing, got it?
- I had this wonderful idea to make the sauce a little healthier by subbing in some vegan mayo, and some Greek yogurt. Normally I love to use Greek yogurt to create healthier, creamy sauce; it usually works like a charm. Oh, how wrong I was. It doesn’t work for potato salad! Real mayo is the only way to go! Grandma’s food is the best; there is no need to tweak it.
Take it from me and learn from my mistakes and I guarantee you will have a beautiful potato salad.
As I said Grandma’s food is the best. The only thing I changed was to not peel the potatoes. Grandma always peeled her potatoes. I pretty much despise peeling things so I avoid it whenever possible. Plus, you have the added bonus of the extra fiber that the skin offers, and the pop of red color. A win for all!
What’s great about this recipe is it is super easy to double, or even triple for big pot-lucks. Just make sure you allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving; cold potato salad is the way to go.
Oh, and one more tip before I unleash you to go make this recipe immediately. Get that mayo and mustard onto the potatoes STAT, while the potatoes are still hot. My grandma swore by this technique; it helps the potatoes soak up all the goodness of mayo, mustard, and salt and pepper.
Now, go boil some potatoes!
- 1 ½ pound red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and trimmed of any bad spots
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup real mayonnaise (the real stuff is the only way to go here; trust me, I tried vegan mayo and it didn’t do justice)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons yellow mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- TOPPINGS (optional):
- Sliced green onions
- Sliced hard boiled eggs
- Sliced radishes
- Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. I do not peel my potatoes because I like the color and texture the skins offer, but you can peel yours if you want.
- Place the potatoes into a medium-sized pot, cover the potatoes with cold water, add the teaspoon salt and give the pot a good stir. Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this causes potatoes to get mushy. Allow the water to come to a boil. Reduce the potatoes to a simmer and allow to simmer uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes, or until a fork is easily removed from the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes, but DO NOT RINSE them. Rinsing removes all the starches that help to create a creamy, thick sauce.
- Immediately transfer the hot potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Combine the mayo and mustard in a small bowl and add to the potatoes while they are still hot; this helps the potatoes to absorb the flavor of the sauce. Add the salt and pepper and stir to combine thoroughly. Taste-test and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Once the potatoes have cooled a little, add the chopped onion and green pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until the potato salad has chilled.
- Serve with optional toppings, such as green onions, sliced hard boiled eggs, and sliced radishes.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.