It’s hardly possible to have a backyard barbecue without potato salad, isn’t it? There are a ton of delicious versions out there, but I find myself craving the classic mayo-laden kind studded with crunchy celery and green onions. It’s an easy – and inexpensive – recipe to make, and it’s a great fridge-cleaner, if you want to get creative. Try adding olives, capers, pickles, roasted red peppers… anything you might find stashed in your fridge door. It’s also a great way to use up chives, green onions, fresh herbs, and other green things growing in your back yard.
The potatoes you choose will have an effect on your finished potato salad; waxy varieties tend to be better than the mealy, floury kind, which tend to break apart and absorb a ton of mayo. New potatoes are ideal as they hold their shape well and don’t even need chopping and peeling. Or go for Yukon Gold or other thin-skinned potatoes – that way you won’t have to bother with peeling, and you’ll retain all those nutrients in and under the skin. I like to douse my potatoes, while they’re still warm, in some vinegar or pickle juice to add a bit of tang to the finished salad – freshly drained, they’ll absorb the vinegar and take on flavour well.
If you want to cut back on the fat, use less mayo, or swap some of it for regular or low-fat sour cream or Greek-style yogurt.
Classic Potato Salad
6 medium thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large dice
2 Tbsp red wine or cider vinegar
2 celery ribs, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion or 2-3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1-2 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped (optional)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
In a medium pot, cover potatoes with cool water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender when poked with a knife; drain in a colander and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with vinegar while still warm.
Add the celery, onion, parsley and egg, then the mayo, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss to coat everything well and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate until you’re ready for it – for up to a day. Serves 6-10.