My husband’s grandmother, Gram Maynard, didn’t cook a lot, but for someone who wasn’t in the kitchen all that often, she still gave me many of my favorite recipes and kitchen tips. I guess when she decided to cook, she made it count! When Nate and I were first married we were young and I had never really had a kitchen of my own, so pretty much everything I cooked was for the first time. I remember trying to make potato salad and having it come out, well, just okay.
Gram, however, made delicious potato salad. Basic and simple but one of my favorites ever, with just the right flavor and texture. I’ll never forget when she told me the secret behind her famous potato salad, standing in the living room of her home: Italian dressing! She told me to use russet potatoes and, instead of tossing them in vinegar and using lots of different spices, she just tossed the cubed, cooked potatoes in Italian dressing before adding the mayo. It was a great shortcut tip that has served me well over the years!
Gram’s Potato Salad
3 pounds russet potatoes
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped small
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup Italian dressing
1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonnaise (start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed)
1/4 tsp. salt (taste and add more if necessary)
1/4 tsp. pepper
sprinkle of paprika, for the top
Chop unpeeled potatoes into 1³ cubes. Add to a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and lightly boil 5-10 more minutes, until potatoes are easily pierced by a fork but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and put in refrigerator until cool. Feel free to fish out potato peels that have fallen off any potato pieces…some of them may do that after cooking.
Mix together the potatoes, eggs, and onion. Pour Italian dressing over the mixture and toss to cover. Mix together mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Add to potato mixture and stir to combine. Put potato salad in a serving bowl and then sprinkle with paprika.