Let’s face it, potato salad isn’t cool.
In fact, this humble side is definitively humdrum–expected, boring, a relic of of the culinary past. Why then, do I find myself making it repeatedly for summer parties and cookouts? Because I love potato salad. Oddly, I didn’t realize I loved it until yesterday–I just thought it kept showing up on the menu because it was appropriate. But you know what? Potato salad is fantastic, and it can have bright, fresh, modern flavors. In other words, this is not your Grandma’s potato salad (well, it’s definitely not my Grandma’s potato salad).
The secret to fantastic potato salad is fresh ingredients: new potatoes, crisp celery, and fresh parsley.
Classic Potato Salad
8 medium new red potatoes
1 small red onion, minced (roughly 1/2 cup)
2 fresh celery stalks, minced (roughly 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup parsley, minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup real mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup capers
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the potatoes into even 1 1/2” chunks. Boil for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender but have a little bite. Drain the potatoes, dump into a large bowl, and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the onion, celery, parsley, zest and juice, mayo, and mustard. Mix to incorporate. Fold mixture in with the potatoes. Add the capers. Check salt, mayo, and acid levels, and adjust as needed.
I love my potato salad just after it has been made, when the flavors still stand alone, however, if left to mingle overnight, you may find the flavor more integrated. Potato salad can be very personal, so please adjust according to your own tastes.