Potato Salad Done Right

 , The New York Times  |  Updated: May 20, 2015 19:48 IST

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Potato Salad Done Right
Potato salad is one of the easiest and most beloved dishes of summer: a soft and creamy mix that anchors any grilled, fried or steamed menu of the season. But that doesn’t guarantee that every potato salad will be good. Sadly, there are an awful lot of attempts gone wrong out there - mushy, bland, overdressed and generally unappealing.

The good news is, it’s just as easy to make a terrific potato salad as it is to make a terrible one, once you understand a few of the finer points of putting it all together.

Having mixed up hundreds of potato salads over summers past, I’ve learned some principles that apply to any variation, whether you’re sticking to the classic mayonnaise-swathed recipe or looking for something off the beaten track.

Try one of the dressing recipes below. Are you feeling like something classic, but with a garlicky twist? Substitute homemade aioli for regular mayonnaise. Pink potato salad gets its zingy color and flavor from a combination of sriracha, ketchup and chopped kimchee in the dressing. Or leave off the mayonnaise entirely and indulge in crisp shards of bacon to add richness, offset by grainy mustard and sweet sautéed shallots. For something light and summery, use a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil strewn with mint and scallions.

Garlic Aioli Potato Salad
Time: 45 minutes

3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

2 garlic cloves, grated

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed1 tablespoon lemon juice, more as needed

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size

Black pepper, as needed

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, for garnish

1. Place 2 eggs in a small pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; immediately remove from heat and cover for 8 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel and dice small.

2. Meanwhile, combine grated garlic, salt and lemon juice in a blender, and pulse a few times to combine. Pulse in remaining egg and the large egg yolk. With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until completely incorporated and mayonnaise is thick. Scrape into a bowl and fold in sour cream. Fold in celery and red onion.

3. Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. Drain and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them.

4. Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with diced boiled eggs and 2/3 of the dressing. Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, toss with some of the remaining dressing to taste (if desired). Season with black pepper and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle with chives.

Yield: 8 servings

Spicy Kimchee Potato Salad
Time: 45 minutes

2/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion whites (slice and save greens for garnish)

2 tablespoons chopped kimchee

1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup

2 teaspoons lime juice, more to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha or other hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size

1. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, scallion whites, kimchee, ketchup, lime juice, sriracha and salt.

2. Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. Drain and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them.

3. Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with 2/3 of the dressing. Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, toss with remaining dressing. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with scallion greens and more lime juice to taste.

Yield: 8 servings

Bacon and Shallot Potato Salad
Time: 45 minutes

2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

6 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, more to taste

Black pepper, as needed

Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. Drain and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted
spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Stir shallots into the skillet with the bacon fat and fry for a minute, until just slightly crisped. Remove from heat.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in shallots and bacon drippings. Crumble in bacon. Immediately toss potatoes with dressing. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with parsley and more vinegar if you like and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 servings

Lemon Potato Salad With Mint
Time: 45 minutes

2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed

Juice of 1 lemon, more for serving

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, more for serving

1/4 cup torn mint leaves, more for serving

1/4 teaspoon Turkish pepper, more for serving

1. Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. Drain and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them.

2. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

3. Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with dressing, scallions, mint and Turkish pepper. Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, top with additional lemon juice, scallions, mint and Turkish pepper.

Yield: 8 servings

Comments© 2015 New York Times News Service
 

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Tags:  Salad

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