Potato salad, the quintessential summer staple. Making its way onto nearly every cookout menu, I find it to be one of those things that seems to complement a wide variety of both lunch and dinner options. Whether it’s at sun-drenched picnics or backyard bar-be-cues, moon-lit patios or sandy beaches, it screams summertime to me. Refreshing and satisfying. Super easy to throw together, too – making it a perfect last-minute and low-stress option.
There are so many variations on potato salad that nearly no two are identical; some prefer mayo, some mustard; some spicy, some plain; some laden with herbs, onions, and so forth. The best thing about potato salad, perhaps, is that you can easily make it your own. Leave out what you aren’t crazy about, and amp up the things you love. That being said, don’t go all-out until the salad has a chance to meld together in the refrigerator. A quick taste after you’ve assembled it will ensure you’re headed in the right direction, but a final taste a few hours later is necessary to ensure it’s seasoned to your liking. Serve with sandwiches, burgers, wraps – whichever summertime meal strikes your fancy.
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Everyone has their own twist on potato salad, and I’m no exception. To be expected, mine is one that has lots of fresh, savory ingredients, and a bit of heat. I use Russet potatoes here, but this potato salad would also be fabulous with red-skinned potatoes, as well. The sauce is vibrant and well-balanced with fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and cayenne folded together into a bit of creamy mayonnaise. This version is well-dressed, but certainly not overly so. The level of heat can be customized to your liking, so be sure to taste as you go. Remember to chill the salad for a few hours before serving to properly let the flavors meld.
Serves 3-4 as a small side; recipe can be easily doubled or tripled
2 medium Russet potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1/4 heaping cup fresh chopped parsley [fresh is truly best here]
2 heaping tablespoons fresh minced chives
1/8 cup minced red onion
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Generous amount of hot sauce [I used Frank's; probably about 2-3 tablespoons]
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Heavy dash of cayenne, to taste
Small sprig of parsley, for garnish
In a large pot of boiling and water, add a pinch of salt, stir, and add the diced potatoes. Stirring every so often, cook the potatoes just until fork-tender. You want the inside of the potato to no longer be raw, but still to maintain their structure so that they hold up well in the salad.
In a large mixing bowl [or serving bowl], vigorously stir the mayonnaise, parsley, chives, red onion, Dijon, red wine vinegar, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Taste the mixture and season to taste with sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, cayenne, and additional hot sauce, to taste. Garnish with a small sprig of parsley. Cover and chill for a few hours, at a minimum, before serving.
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