Wednesday, July 14, 2010

classic potato salad

classic potato salad

I, apparently, have so much to say about potato salad, that I’ve been staring at this page for the last four days not sure of what to write. At first, blamed writer’s block, but then I realized it wasn’t so much as that I didn’t know what to say about potatoes, it was more that I didn’t know how to start writing because at once I had so many thoughts running through my head.

I grew up eating a lot of potatoes in all its permutations – I don’t think I’ve ever come across a potato I didn’t like. Boiled, fried, baked, mashed – I’ve loved every version in its own way. I can eat potatoes cold straight from the fridge with a bit of salt, olive oil and freshly cut onion, topped with a few pieces of herring or some other smoked fish. To me – this meal is heaven. And I don’t think the Sassy Radish household has spent a day without potatoes in its pantry – it would feel naked and empty otherwise.

red potatoes

In these hot, sticky months, my thoughts shift to potato salad – cold, perfect-for-a-barbecue potato salad. I could really spend a lifetime celebrating eternal summer with corn on the cob, lobster rolls and blueberry pie. Oh, and potato salad. Because what summer potluck is complete without one?

happy, red potatoes

My favorite way to do this salad in the summer, because Sassy Radish loves potato salad enough to already feature two versions, is to throw everything but the kitchen sink in. True to form, I couldn’t abstain from throwing a bit of horseradish in there for an extra bite, and I think it was the right call to make.

kosher dill pickles

I never know how to classify potatoes – starch or vegetable? It’s always a bit confusing to me, as I want to do both. Not a grain and definitely technically a vegetable – for something so pedestrian, potatoes have managed to be enigmatic. One thing is clear however – they are versatile, filling and comforting no how you view them. And with a plateful of this salad on your plate, eternal summer, if you want it, can be yours as well.

Classic Potato Salad

2 pounds medium red potatoes (do not peel)
6 kosher dill pickles (smallish size)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped roughly
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt (not Greek as it’s too thick)
2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Champagne vinegar
3 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 tbsp horseradish
[salt/pepper to taste]


Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. You want about an inch to two inches of water on top of the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool potatoes to room temperature. [You can always refrigerate your potatoes and finish them later in the day or the following day.]

When at room temperature (or cold), roughly cut the potatoes. I prefer my potato salad chunky as potatoes get all mashed up during the mixing. So, I recommend cutting your potato in half and the cutting those halves either into quarters or six pieces (depending on the size of your red potatoes).

Place into a large bowl and combine with the remaining vegetables/eggs. About an hour before serving, in a medium bowl, mix together mayo, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, dill, and horseradish. Mix your dressing into the salad and stir until everything is evenly coated.

[You can prep your salad and dressing a day before and let sit in the refrigerator, combining an hour before serving. Salad is best at room temperature to slightly chilled. It is summer, after all.]

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  • 1

    One word- yummalicious (I know, not quite a word, but it works!). A quick and delicious classic that is crying for me to bring this to my picnic with friends on Friday!

    July 14, 2010 1:32 pm
  • 2
    Shannalee said:

    I so relate to feeling that classic blogger’s block at times, trying to write about a recipe I love but not finding the words. Three cheers for pushing through to bring us this, which looks as Classic Summer as it gets!

    July 14, 2010 1:37 pm
  • 3
    Adrienne said:

    I looove pickles in potato salad. LOVE. I’ll give horseradish a try next.

    July 14, 2010 1:40 pm
  • 4
    Maddie said:

    New potatoes are starting to show up in my weekly CSA box. I made home fries this week, but thanks for featuring something nice and cold that’ll work in all this heat!

    July 14, 2010 2:53 pm
  • 5
    Janine said:

    Wow! I made a potato salad very similar to yours last weekend. I think it the closest recipe I’ve found to the one passed down thru my family. I like your inclusion of fresh dill – I may have to try that on mine next time.

    July 14, 2010 3:16 pm
  • 6
    sara said:

    I just did a potato salad post a couple weeks ago and I had the same block problem! I spent ages looking through potato salad recipes and hybridizing them to make my ultimate salad, and when I went to write the post it took me forever! My version is very similar to yours, uses fresh horseradish and eggs, celery, red onion, and a yogurt/mayo/sour cream mix, it just omits the pickles cuz I’m not a pickle girl. Yours looks beautiful!

    July 14, 2010 8:30 pm
  • 7
    Claiborne said:

    Love all that tang-can’t wait to try this horseradish/pickle version!

    July 14, 2010 11:43 pm
  • 8
    Christine said:

    Hello! I love your potato salad.
    And i love the pictures as well.

    I hope you don’t mind. I like your red potato pictures too much that I uploaded it in the Foodista website under the red potato:
    I put there in the comments section I got it from your blog. You can vote it down if you don’t want. You can also add foodista widget so Foodista readers can go directly to your blogs. =)


    July 15, 2010 3:18 am
  • 9
    Radish said:

    Christine – thanks for the compliments – if you do wind up using my picture, since it’s under the copy right and I do mention that it’s not okay to use w/o my permission, please put a link to my blog directly under the picture. Otherwise, please reach out to me first before taking the picture for any use. If you see on my Flickr permission settings, the picture is under a FULL copyright.

    July 15, 2010 8:29 am
  • 10
    Nicole said:

    It just occurred to me that I’ve never made a classic potato salad! I love the addition of horseradish, pickles and yogurt. Sounds divine!

    July 15, 2010 9:53 am
  • 11

    You really can’t go wrong adding a dab of horseradish to anything! Yum!

    July 15, 2010 11:46 am
  • 12

    Radish: I’m not a huge potato person. Something that happened inadvertently over the last several years as I started watching the carb intake. But, girlfriend, I would definitely spoon some of this on my plate – a look at the picture and at the ingredients – is enticing.

    July 15, 2010 5:36 pm
  • 13
    Jerilea said:

    Love your thoughts about potatoes. I think I could eat them every day and in every way if it weren’t for my husband would get bored and need some pasta and my son who doesn’t care for potatoes. I wonder if he was switched at birth. ;)

    July 15, 2010 6:15 pm
  • 14

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    July 16, 2010 9:41 am
  • 15
    emily said:

    hey sassy radish:
    how do you like your epicurean cutting board? my boyfriend is thinking of buying one, because he just bought a fancy new chef’s knife and doesn’t want it to be damaged by my plastic cutting board. are you happy with it?

    July 17, 2010 8:42 pm
  • 16
    Radish said:

    Emily – love the board. It’s great. Why would it damage the knife?

    July 18, 2010 8:11 pm
  • 17
    Shaheen said:

    Lovely Salad! I want to bite into some cold salad right now.

    And I just love how you write!

    July 20, 2010 11:14 pm
  • 18

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  • 21

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