Five Tips for Better Potato Salad


1. Choose the right potatoes. You want small, low-starch waxy potatoes that will hold their shape after boiling: red, red bliss, new or Yukon gold potatoes.

2. Salt the boiling water. Use more than you think you’ll need, like a few fingerfuls for the amount seen on the left. Trust me, they absorb a lot and when they’re done you barely have to add a drizzle of olive oil or dollop of sour cream to make them taste good.

3. The Knife Test. They are done cooking when you can slip a sharp knife through the flesh without resistance. Cook times vary depending on size and shape of potato, but generally you want to start checking after they’ve been boiling for 12 minutes.

4. Toss While Warm. If you are tossing the potatoes in a dressing, always do it when they are still warm. Potatoes will absorb more of the oil when they’re warm.

5. Go with the Small Dice. Last year, I went to the cafe at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and had the freshest, simplest potatoes tossed with olive oil, creme fraiche, sea salt, and chives. But the best thing about them were that they were chopped into bite-size pieces. Somehow, it elevated the old barbecue stand-by to new levels. And I’ve been doing it at my own table ever since.

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