Classic Potato Salad (Small Batch)

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

 Classic Potato Salad  

 Classic Potato Salad.  Potato salad is something which I have always loved.  That is not really much of a stretch to believe when you know that my favorite vegetable is the potato! 

I love potatoes in any way, shape or form.  Boiled, fried, baked, mashed, hot, cold and everything in between.  And in the summer months, I love, Love, LOVE potato salad!

Classic Potato Salad

Sometimes when a person lives on their own, or is the part of a smaller family, they might not think it is worth making a batch of potato salad just for themselves.  But I can tell you, it is totally worth it, and it really doesn't take a whole lot of effort!  

Potato salad is something which goes together very quickly and easily and need not be complicated in the least.  And you don't have to make barrel's full either. It is quite possible for a singleton or smaller family to make a batch of potato salad that won't be lingering in their refrigerator for days and days and days.

Classic Potato Salad 
It is really not that hard to make your own and homemade is infinitely better tasting than anything you can buy that is already prepared.

The few times I have been tempted to buy ready made potato salad, I have always, always been disappointed. I kid you not.

Classic Potato Salad 
Swimming in mayonnaise. Lacking in flavor. Containing potatoes that are either mushy or too hard in spots.  There is not much that is redeemable about these over-priced, preservative filled options.

You cannot beat a good, homemade, Classic Potato Salad for comfort.  Especially in the summer months when we all are craving cool foods, having BBQ's, wanting cold plates, etc.

Classic Potato Salad 
I always loved watching my mother make potato salad. She was always very methodical about it.  I can still see her standing at the counter peeling potatoes.  Chopping onion and celery.

Peeling and cubing cucumber, mixing it all together, tasting, perhaps adding a touch of this or a touch of that, and mixing it again.  It was such a treat.   Both the watching and the inevitable eating.

Classic Potato Salad

Potato salad is something which I am always asked to bring to pot lucks and get-togethers.  People just love my potato salad.  I think that is because I keep it simple.

Sometimes people try to add too much to a potato salad and in doing so they actually take away from the overall deliciousness of it.  Potato salad need not be complicated and shouldn't be complicate.

Classic Potato Salad  
The flavors and textures should be simple, and wholesome.  You don't need a bazillion add-ins.  Just a few simple ingredients.

Potatoes, a bit of onion, eggs, celery, sometimes cucumber, and a decent dressing that is also unhampered with a bazillion add-ins.

Classic Potato Salad 
I always start by boiling my potatoes (in the skin) in a pot of water just until they are fork tender. You don't want them to be falling apart. You just want a knife to be able to pierce them without a lot of resistance.

You should always use a newer potato, a waxy potato, not the same kind of potato that you would use to make mashed potatoes.

Classic Potato Salad 

You want your potatoes to hold their shape when you mix everything together, not fall apart.  I can only think that mashed potato salad was created by someone who used the wrong potatoes and just went with it, when they all fell apart.

Although that is very good, mashed potato salad, it is not as good as the Classic Potato Salad in my opinion.  You cannot beat the classics. 

Classic Potato Salad 
While my potatoes are boiling I like to make a preliminary dressing. It is a simple vinaigrette dressing using fresh lemon juice and a bit of oil, some salt and I like to grate some fresh onion into it.

This gives it a bit of onion flavor, without it going over the top.  Its quite nice actually.

Classic Potato Salad 
Once the potatoes are done, I drain them and let them cool somewhat. Just until I can comfortably handle them.  I then spear them with a fork and use a sharp knife to slip the skins off.

They should come off fairly easily. Mine always do anyways, and if the skin sticks to some of it, then just slip your knife beneath the skin and peel it off that way.  

Classic Potato Salad 

Once I have peeled them, I cube them and drop them into that preliminary vinaigrette dressing.  This dressing serves to give them even more flavor than the mayonnaise alone, and it also helps to prevent them from absorbing too much mayonnaise as the salad stands and chills.

I always add boiled egg to my potato salad. I know some people don't like chopped egg in their potato salad and if you are one of those, then just leave it out!


Classic Potato Salad 
I like to add it and the yolk of the egg kind of melds into the dressing, giving it a lovely rich creaminess.  The whites of course stay in their little pieces.  I also like to add some chopped celery for crunch, and yes a tiny bit of color.

You can destring the celery before you chop it if you like. I always do. Sometimes the strings can be a bit tough. 

Classic Potato Salad 
I know I add a bit of grated onion in the vinaigrette, but I also like to add some chopped green/spring onion to the salad as well. Not a lot, but it does add color, and a bit of flavor.

Spring onions are not as sharp as regular onions and they do have quite a pleasant taste, which goes very well in this salad.

Classic Potato Salad 
The creamy dressing itself is quite simple.  Just mayonnaise and some cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  That's all really.  You don't need anything else.

Its not too thin or gloopy.  I do not like gloopy potato salad. I like a potato salad that holds up well.

I also like to garnish the top so that it looks pretty. On a larger potato salad, I might add a layer of thinly sliced boiled egg, but for this smaller version, I simply added a sprinkle of paprika and some finely chopped chives.  Beautiful.

Classic Potato Salad

You can add a touch of mustard to it if you want some extra zing.  You can of course add a few other bits to your salad if you wish . . . sweet pickle relish, parsley, cucumber.  Just remember to not over do it.

A little bit goes a long way in a potato salad. I guarantee if you keep it simple, people will love it!  Its a great side dish to all of your BBQ's, cold plates, etc.  I can't think of anything it wouldn't go with! 

Today I enjoyed it with some deli roast beef, a simple salad and a deviled egg. It went down a real treat!

Classic Potato Salad (small batch)

Classic Potato Salad (small batch)

Yield: Serves 2-3
Author: Marie Rayner
You just cannot improve upon perfection. A classic, deliciously sized down to serve only 2 to 3 people.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized new potatoes
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1/2 TBS grated onion
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (165g) full fat mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 TBS cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook just until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, and as soon as you can handle them comfortably, peel and dice.
  2. Whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt to taste and grated onion together in a bowl. Add the paprika and then toss in the warm potatoes. Coat with this vinaigrette dressing.  Leave to cool completely..
  3. Add the celery, chopped egg, pepper to taste. 
  4. Blend 1/2 cup (110g) of the mayonnaise with the cider vinegar and then pour over the potato salad. Fold together gently. Only add the remaining mayonnaise if it seems dry.
  5. Pile into a bowl, chill and serve.
  6. I like to garnish it with minced chives and a dusting of paprika.

Notes:

Feel free to add any of the following: 4 TBS peeled, seeded and diced English Cucumber, 1 spring onion minced, 1 1/2 TBS sweet pickle relish, 1 TBS minced parsley

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Classic Potato Salad
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7 comments

  1. Lovely recipe. I totally agree with you on potatoes and potato salad. Delicious, and the simpler the better.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

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  2. Good morning, Marie. Your timing is perfect! I planned to make a potato salad for Canada Day 🇨🇦 and now I can use your recipe. It's very similar to my recipe except I've never added the preliminary lemon vinaigarette. I'll try that tomorrow. I always boil my two eggs in the same pot with my potatoes. If I don't have celery, I chop up some red/orange peppers and I always add a bit of dill or cilantro. Thanks for your recipe. Enjoy your day. It's supposed to be cooler today. Hope so. Love and hugs, Elaine

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  3. Lovely recipe. I agree with you about commercial potato salad just not cutting it. I've never tasted a commercial potato salad that I liked. I always add chopped mint to my potato salad and have never put eggs in it, but there's always a first time for everything. It's ideal potato salad weather here as well.

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    Replies
    1. There was only ever one that I kind of liked that I used to be able to get at Lid, Marie. It had crème fraiche the dressing, but even that one was too gloopy. Less is more! Especially when it comes to salads like coleslaw and potato salad! I hope you will try it with eggs, and that you enjoy the addition! xoxo

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  4. I usually make my potato salad with leftover mashed potatoes. If I have leftover mashed potatoes and know I'm going to do this, I stir in some pickle juice before refrigerating them. Having the butter and the cream you add to your mashed potatoes gives it a richness that is really good. I often then cook another potato chopped small and add it in. I also put in dill pickles or sweet potato relish. I guess maybe it's a hillbilly thing, but a lot of people I know make it that way. Much love - Raquel XO

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  5. This looks delicious, Marie. I love potato salad but you're right -- it's easy to over make it. I usually do a vinegar/oil base so if it sits out a bit no harm done, but I confess that the mayo version is a real treat!

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