I have a terrible weakness for potato salad. It began in my childhood, when my Mom always turned out a killer version, and continues to this day with numerous permutations of my own. This one is my go-to choice these days. Our potatoes are doing really well this year, so you are likely to see some other great ways to use them this summer, but when I need something I know will be easy to makes and always delicious, this is the one I fall back on. It’s not earth-shaking; just a few simple ingredients and nothing complicated about how to combine them, but the result is satisfying and just the thing on a steamy summer day. And – this is a method, more than a recipe, so change it up to suit your taste and what you have on hand. Ingredient amounts are approximate, and nothing will be ruined if you leave out the onions or use yellow mustard instead of dijon. Let’s get to it.
This is about 2 pounds of new potaotes, scrubbed trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch or so cubes. More like cube-ish though of course, since some of them are little ones just cut in half, but you get the idea. Put them in a 3 quart sauce pan, fill with water till it is just even with the top of the potatoes pieces, and add a teaspoon or so of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until they are done, taking care not to over cook. I can’t give you an exact time, because it depends on things like the age of the potatoes, the variety, and exactly how big your cube-ish pieces are, not to mention the pahse of the moon or what color flip flops you are wearing. Start paying close attention after 10 minutes. Drain them as soon as they are done. I like to spread them out on a sheet pan – not so much to cool them off as to dry them off – cause wet potaotes are going to water down your flavors. In the meantime, dice up some add-ins. This is 3 or 4 small scallions, a huge stalk of celery, and a generous handful of plain old green olives with pimentos – all chopped in a medium diceThe seaonings are simple – fresh ground peppercorns, kosher salt and some minced flat leaf parsley.Finally, some chopped, boiled egg – 4 eggs here, a couple big dollops of mayo [not too much - you can add more, you can't take it out], a couple tablespoons each cider vinegar and dijon mustard. When the potatoes are dry and at about room temperature, put them in a good sized bowl, along with all of the other prepared ingredients, and mix together gently. Taste, and add more salt if needed – I don’t add more mayo at this point, unless it is really dry – I wait until just before serving to decide if it needs more.Chill for at least a couple hours or overnight, and serve cold. Remember that mayo-dressed foods should not be out of the fridge for too long. I tell you – I could make a meal out of this stuff.