I’ve been making this potato salad the same way for 20 years… well more or less the same.
I was originally emulating my Mom’s recipe that is no recipe at all. Basically you just gather up the ingredients you want, eye ball the amounts and put it together with generally excellent results. Some years after I had moved out of my parents house and began to realize that I could put my own signature on this recipe, I began to alter it.
It started with replacing half the mayo with sour cream, then adding various types of mustard and vinegar until I found a combination I liked. I think the sour notes of mustard and vinegar cut the richness of the mayo and sour cream perfectly.
I also used to peel and cut the potatoes before I cooked them, but I came back around to my Mother’s method of the full potato boil. I think it does actually cook the potatoes more evenly with out making them mushy and cooking them with the skins on makes them taste better.
I later discovered that the cooling process actually does more than just make them easier to handle. It “drys” the potato out a little so they sucks up more of the dressing. Before I knew better, I used to rinse the potatoes in cold water to cool them, which meant that they salad stayed moister in general but was less flavorful.
Later after meeting my husband, I started using green apple instead of celery. I personally dislike celery, but hates it with a passion. I didn’t like leaving it out because I enjoy the bit of crunch it gives, and adding more onion just didn’t taste right. Then I experimented with tart green apple and sweet green apple and the sweet won out. You don’t really taste apple, it’s more like a little brightening of the other ingredients and some added crunch that a smooshy dish like this needs. Of course you are welcome to use celery or whatever you want in your potato salad!
- 1.5 lb of russet potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium)
- A big pinch of salt
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 TBSP mustard, spicy brown or what ever kind you prefer
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dill weed
- 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/3 cup dill pickle, diced small
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced small
- 1/3 cup peeled sweet green apple, diced small
- 4 hard boiled eggs, 3 chopped & 1 sliced
- 1 x 14oz can of black olives, save a few for decorating (optional)
- Paprika & parsley flakes for decorating (also optional)
- In a large pot, combine the potatoes and a big pinch of salt. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and then bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn down the heat until you get a good simmer/slow boil going. Cook the potatoes covered for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are tender but still firm. Drain, return to the pot and cool uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the mayo, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, dill and parsley. Whisk until well blended.
- Gently fold in the diced pickles, onion and apple as well as the chopped egg and whole olives (set a few aside for decorating).
- When the potatoes have cooled for 10 minutes, remove the skins (or don’t if you prefer), then cut each potato into bite size pieces and add to the dressing. Fold the potatoes gently into the dressing while they are still warm.
- Decorate with sliced egg, olives and sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving, but up to 48 hours.
Makes 6 to 8 servings – Keeps in the fridge for 3 or 4 days
- I used a small egg press to make the decoration egg square… no I did not get it from a square chicken!
- If you are going to make the salad 2 days before serving it, I recommend decorating it the day you serve it.