Friday, March 19, 2010

Potato Week: Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

On the fifth day of potato week, my farm share sent to me ... five Yukon golds!

(Actually more like ten or twelve; we get the large share.)

The Gourmet Cookbook told me they'd be good for an old-fashioned potato salad, and also offered a handful of potato salad tips:
  • Cook the potatoes whole and with peels on to prevent them from getting waterlogged.
  • Start with the potatoes in cold water (not boiling) so the outsides don't get cooked before the insides.
  • Simmer the potatoes, rather than bring them to a rolling boil, which "will jostle them, causing them to collide and break apart."
I tend to take recipe directives with a grain of salt (that's charitable; usually I disregard them entirely), but I think this last one is key to the whole operation:
  • Once you have the potatoes boiled and cut into pieces, while they're still hot, toss them with vinegar: "The tart acidity will rapidly penetrate deep inside them, giving the finished salad a general liveliness."
Once you've got the potatoes boiled and cut up, toss the potato pieces with three tablespoons of cider vinegar whisked together with a teaspoon of salt. Then add chopped onion, celery, and hard-boiled eggs, dress with mayonnaise, and add salt and pepper until generally lively.

I also added a tablespoon or two of mustard with the mayonnaise (which is how I remember my mom making potato salad) and a sprinkling of dill.

This tastes like home to me (and it's great packed for lunch with a pickle), but there are certainly more exciting versions out there (sweet potato salad with bananas, apples, and apricots, anyone?), as well as entire blogs and websites devoted to potato salad. Tastespotting has lots of sexy potato salads, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment