P otato salad is a summertime classic. I can’t imagine a picnic or backyard barbecue without a big bowl of potato salad - the classic creamy kind.
Of course there are many different potato salad recipes available and they all have their merits. But this is the one I grew up eating. It’s an old-fashioned potato salad recipe, creamy with mayonnaise, and the ideal accompaniment to grilled burgers, brats, and hot dogs. It is delicious with barbecued chicken or ribs, fried chicken, leftover ham or a lunchtime sandwich too.
I’ve made a lot of potato recipes through the years from simple to exotic, but as I get older, I seem to be coming back to easy, simple classic recipes. This one varies only slightly from the Hellman’s potato salad recipe that appeared on the jar’s label for years.
Here are a few tips for making great old-fashioned potato salad:
Use red skinned potatoes if you can. They are sturdier and less starchy than russet potatoes so they hold up better and don’t fall to pieces when you are mixing.
For best results boil the potatoes whole in their skins. Once they are cooked, you can peel them if you like, but I prefer the color they add to the final salad.
Toss the potatoes with lemon juice and olive oil while they are still warm. Their flavors absorb into the potatoes giving them brighter flavor. If you don’t have lemon juice 2 tablespoons of vinegar is a good substitute.
Old-Fashioned Potato Salad Recipe
2 pounds red potatoes (about 8 medium) 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 2 large scallions, thinly sliced 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
Place the potatoes in a medium (4 to 6 quart) saucepan and add enough water to cover them an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and then simmer over low to medium low heat until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes. You will know they are done when you can insert the tip of a sharp knife easily, without resistance.
Immediately drain the potatoes and allow them to cool slightly. When they are cool enough to handle, cut them into bite-size pieces with a serrated knife. (This will help keep the skins intact.)
Place the chopped potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently and then place the bowl in the refrigerator while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Add the eggs, celery, scallions, and mayonnaise and stir gently until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes 6 to 8 servings of creamy old-fashioned potato salad
Potato Salad Variations and Additions:
Sprinkle the top of your salad with paprika.
Substitute 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion for the scallions.
Add 2 tablespoons dijon mustard with the mayonnaise.
Add 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish with the mayonnaise.