Yum Peaceful Cooking: Potato Salad; Back to the Basics

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Potato Salad; Back to the Basics

I love revamping recipes and updating and personalizing and just trying new, better foods just as much as the next person. But sometimes you have to stop and go back to the basics....remember why you fell in love with that particular type of recipe to begin with.

As much as I enjoy jazzed up, tweaked, fancy potato salad recipes.....there's just something about the original plain-jane recipe from my childhood that hits that spot that you didn't even realize was being missed until the first bite.


"Oooooh yaaaa!! Oh man, thats gooooood potato salad!"


I know everyone has a different memory of the potato salad they grew up on, but this is mine. And it happens to be my husbands favorite too. (although I'd reeeeeally like to add some fresh dill and maybe substitute some of the mayo with ranch dressing......shoot, there I go again. back to basics, back to basics, back to basics.)

Aaaanywayssssssss.....here's how my Basic Potato Salad recipe goes:


4 - 6 servings (according to my handy dandy 1983 Betty Crocker Cookbook. Btw...they didn't have super size back then)

2 lbs potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

Peal and dice your potatoes into bite sized chunks, making the sizes as uniform as possible so that they cook at the same rate (I learned that part from Alton Brown). Heat water to boiling. Add potatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook until tender (about 20 minutes or so...depending on the size of your chunks). Drain and plunge into ice cold water to stop the cooking process (you really don't want a mashed potato salad, do you?)

In a large zip lock baggy, combine potatoes, onions, Italian Dressing, salt and pepper....


Looking at that, you just KNOOOOOW its gonna be good. The trick is using your most favoritest bestest Italian Dressing. Oh ya....and, this time I used those yellowish Yukon potatoes. They didn't seem to get all moooshy like the russets tend to do. Red potatoes work really well also.

Refrigerate your little potato bag for at least 2 hours. Every so often, turn the bag over so that it marinades evenly.

Just before serving, toss with mayonnaise until potatoes are well coated...


Stir in celery and eggs:


I wish I had a better picture of the finished product....but it just wouldn't happen. It was night time and white with a flash is just a real pain in the ass.


Now, if you MUST....here are some ideas to "fancy up" your potato salad:

Garden Potato Salad: Stir in 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes, 1 small cucumber cut into cubes, 1 small bell pepper chopped and 1/2 teaspoon celery salt.
Golden Potato Salad: Increase eggs to 6 and stir in 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
Herring Potato Salad: Stir in 1 8oz jar of pickled herring, drained and chopped, and 1 teaspoon dill weed.
Italian Potato Salad: Increase mayonnaise to 3/4 cup. Stir in 1/2 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives or pitted ripe olives, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves (hmm...I'm thinking fresh basil leaves would be pretty incredible too)

NOTE: when you have egg in your salad, its only good for about 2 days!!!

And there you have it. Your very basic Potato Salad.

Now that thats done, I think I'll enjoy a very basic Pina Colada'ish drink :D


1/2 glass of Malibu Rum - Coconut Flavor
1/2 glass of Pineapple Juice
1 set of rabbit ears

Combine and serve over ice.


  1. LOL!! Don't forget the rabbit ears...ahhhh, lushes unite ;P Luv your tater salad. I've never tried it w/ Italian dressing, sounds super-tasty. Now, where's my Pina Colada...my rabbit ears are ready!

  2. Mmmm, potato salad. I like mine nice and basic too. :)

  3. i've had some bad experiences with mayonnaise-based potato salad, but i would enjoy that pitcher of perhaps the best beverage ever. :)

  4. That sounds great. I love "zesty" dishes like that!

  5. Interesting addition the italian dressing. I like to add small diced dill pickles to mine also.

    LOVE pina coladas.. we use cream of coconut and grand marnier(dash or so ) in addition to what u use. Love them! The rabbit ears I wear on my head;)

  6. girlichef - Lushes UNITE!! LOL

    Bob..sometimes basic is best

    Grace - thanks for stopping by. Ya, anything with mayo, you gotta be careful. When all else fails, there's always a full pitcher ;)

    Hey Moni - good to see you! thanks for coming by. I'll see you in BakeSpace I'm sure

    Donna - I wish I had coconut milk but I had to make due with what was there. mmm...sweet pickles would be really good in a potato salad.


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