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Potato Salad - dressing question

Spring means I start making potato salad, so I made my first batch of the season yesterday. Now, I really like my potato salad recipe, but occasionally think the dressing could be a little thinner so the salad would be a bit looser on the plate.

For reference, I use red potatoes (cooked in salted water & dressed while still warm with vinegar), hard-cooked eggs, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, a very small amount of brown mustard, a pinch of sugar, and black pepper. Garnish: parsley & paprika.

I've been looking over various recipes, and read a few threads here on the HC board. I see a variety of ingredients used to thin the dressing, and almost as many recipes that don't bother to do so.

Water, milk, pickle juice, lemon juice, more vinegar, oil; all have their adherents. I'm wondering what do you use? Or is your potato salad just fine as-is? Maybe mine is too, and I'm just over-thinking this.

The only thing I won't add is sour cream; that goes in my cole slaw dressing, and I like the salads to have different flavor profiles when they get served together.

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  1. I love a little sweet pickle juice added to my potato salad. Gives it an unidentifiable little extra something! And a pinch or two of celery salt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeanmarieok

      I might try that with the juice of some bread & butter pickles I have in the fridge.

    2. I use mayonnaise sparingly and add a little extra oil to thin it.

      1. Maybe a splash of buttermilk will do what you want.


        3 Replies
        1. re: Uncle Bob

          There's something I hadn't thought of. Now I love buttermilk in baked goods, but haven't made any salad dressings with it. Will it change the flavor much?

          1. re: mcsheridan

            Maybe a little tangy. Since you use vinegar in your recipe, I doubt it will be that noticeable.

          2. re: Uncle Bob

            I use a splash of heavy cream or half and half. Mine is mainly mayo, but thinned with oil and Heinz white vinegar plus the dairy, whisked until it has the consistency of whipped cream. I also put powdered mustard in there, but the salt and pepper is on the cooked potatoes, along with another dash of oil, while they are warm so it absorbs.

            I use olive oil, but hey, I'm in NY!

          3. My go to potato salad is potatoes (not too particular as long as they're white potatoes), salad dressing (yeh, I use Miracle Whip in this) or mayo + a bit of sugar, yellow mustard, chopped onions & celery, chopped hard boiled eggs, a little salt, pepper and paprika....and sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles with their juices.

            I like my potato salad on the thick side but if i need to thin it out, I use extra pickle juice. Once, I didn't have quite enough salad dressing so I whisked some thousand island dressing with it; it was delicious. Now, I sometimes make the potato salad with thousand island. If I'm out of celery, I use a little celery seed.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Cherylptw

              I grew up w/Miracle Whip too; however I now like mayonnaise, Dijon mustard & capers in the mix.

              1. re: Taralli

                I like mayo too, usually with whole grain mustard, a little grape seed oil, roasted & pureed onions & garlic and herbs like chives, parsley and thyme mixed with roasted red potatoes..totally different potato salad.

              2. re: Cherylptw

                That's two mentions of pickle juice and celery seed. Worth thinking about, even if I already have the celery (of course, there are those people who don't like celery at all, poor things.)

                1. re: mcsheridan

                  I used chopped celery and onion and a bit of grated carrot; tried the seed once but didn't seem to add much. If you didn't put fresh I could see it though.

              3. I prefer for my PS to bind together. Maybe save some of the salted cooking water to add back into your finished product.

                1. I use rice wine vinegar and lots of it to dress the warm potatoes. 99% of the time , if I'm going to make potato salad, I also make the mayonnaise and my homemade mayo is never as thick as Hellman's, etc. For that reason, I rarely need to thin the dressing. If needed, however, I'd use rice wine vinegar.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MrsPatmore

                    I might try that with a small batch; I'm used to the stronger apple cider vinegar.

                    1. re: mcsheridan

                      Using the milder rice wine vinegar, you can use more (and hopefully achieve the results that you seek)

                      1. re: MrsPatmore

                        That's what I'm thinking, 'cause I surely couldn't lay on large amounts of a.c. Vinegar. Wow! That could be bad.

                  2. Nonfat yogurt, whole-grain deli mustard, honey, and sweet relish.

                    1. I prefer german potato salad, which is mayo-free.

                      Cube and boil red potatos, drain well.

                      Meanwhile dice up a few strips of bacon and cook over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving the fat in the pan. Add minced onion and garlic, saute until translucent. Stir in sugar, cider vinegar and chopped parsley, as well as the bacon pieces. Combine well and then pour while still warm over the potatoes.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: carnicero

                        I grew up eating both mayo-based and German-style potato salads (my mother was German), yet I prefer the mayo-based style. I can't even recall the last time I had it. One of my older sisters still favors the German-style.

                        1. re: carnicero

                          Yep - this is terrific, A friend brought it to a pot-luck afternoon party yesterday, first time he made it and many people had never had it before. Big hit - thanks for reminding me.

                          1. re: carnicero

                            That's how I like to make it too. I like to add a little brown mustard to it as well. Never tried it with parsley. Maybe I will next time.

                          2. I make my own dilled bean pickles, the brine of which is 1 cup each white vinegar and water, 1 tbsp salt, large pinch of dried dill, and another of dried chili flakes. The liquid can be great for thinning dressings of all sorts :)

                            1. Cook's loves pickle juice, my wife likes lemon juice and I always use a little Italian Dressing (the unthickened kind) to give the potatoes an extra shot of flavor. I use waxy potatoes (any color will do) but steam them whole unpeeled so they won't absorb any moisture as they cook.

                              Peel when done steaming (the skins just slip off) then dice and add the liquid so they absorb as they cool.

                              Then dress as usual. I like mayo-based with a little bit of crunchy stuff. But I don't want the salad loose -- it should scoop and hold its shape on the plate.

                              1. Thats funny my potato salad recipe which I call 'german' which was taught to me from a german is a mayo dressing. Use peeled red or yukon golds. Steam, cube while slightly warm toss with a homemade mayo dressing which is egg,oil,salt with a some frenchs yellow mustard and dill pickle juice to thin to desired consistency and chopped dills.

                                1. I believe you're over-thinking this. My potato salad is essentially the same as yours, except I use russets instead of reds, add sweet relish, and add finely chopped parsley to the salad instead of using it as a garnish. I've also started to use smoked paprika to sprinkle on top instead of sweet or regular paprika.

                                  When a friend from the south visited once, she claimed that it was too tight, and doubled the mayo to make it "southern style", which simply made the potato salad slide into the other food on the plates, which I thought was totally unappetizing.

                                  One thing I'm going to try next weekend is leaving out the eggs for a BBQ we're throwing. A surprising number of people love deviled eggs. So I'm going to do a plate of deviled eggs to see how people eat them. Will they take a bite of egg while digging into the potato salad?

                                  In the end, people really love potato salad, and are quite forgiving about slight variations. The only thing people really don't like is old, soggy vegetables in it, which you invariably get with store-bought.

                                  18 Replies
                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                    Maybe I am over-thinking this; I have friends who rave about my potato salad, and I certainly like it. I just have more time on my hands now that I'm retired, and I find myself analyzing everything. (I worked in IT - we're all a little nuts.)

                                    1. re: mcsheridan

                                      I don't think so! plenty of time to learn now. Congrats on retirement.

                                      I use Girard's light champagne dressing to thin it out and provide the tanginess that others are getting from pickle juice or italian dressing. It's perfect. That way, I'm not adding gobs of Duke's Mayo. Brown mustard. Always celery and finely diced red pepper for crunch.

                                      Good suggestions here.

                                      1. re: mcsheridan

                                        When I retired a couple of years ago, I set about on my plans to learn to make a great pie crust (done!), learn how to can local produce (getting there) and to put in a vegetable garden (this may be the year where I finally get it right!). Life is good!

                                        1. re: coll

                                          As far as my food interests go, I'm obviously working on perfecting some of my standard dishes, but I'm also trying at least one new dish a week, either roasts or one-pot meals, and dabbling in Cajun. As soon as I can, bread baking is next up. I've baked bread before, but I'm ready to try no-knead bread and baguettes, that kind of thing.

                                          Yes, life is good.

                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                            Oh how could I forget, I want to get back to bread baking too and expand my repertoire. So far I've only done Easter bread (with the colored eggs in shell on top) I have the yeast I bought last year and I hope it doesn't go bad before I get back to Italian loaves and so on!

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Then may I direct you to this thread...

                                              I'm following it, but won't chime in until I actually get started.

                                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                                I think that's where I got my inspiration, I retired shortly after this thread started.

                                                Back in the 1970s I always made the bread when I cooked an Italian dinner, I was only just married and just starting to cook. But it was surprisingly easy, I just never had the time to branch out. Easter bread is my only yeast product so far.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  coll it couldn't be easier. wish I lived close, I'd help over a few pots of coffee.
                                                  important to insure your yeast is active and not dead. a year may be too long if it's not been in the proper temp, may have lost it's ability to proof your bread. been there a dozen times myself.

                                                  yeast donuts, yeast pizza dough, yeast cinnamon buns, all easy and very doable, plus the house smells great all the while.

                                                  there are hamburger buns (a recipe online somewhere) that tout perfection, I've made them, my goodness how good they are and yep, yeast is used.

                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                    Oh I already have a hamburger bun recipe picked out, now I just have to find the right day.

                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      hummm ~ you got me to thinking-wonder if it includes a tiny amount of onion powder&an egg

                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                        I'll dig it out, but an egg (or at least a yolk) would be a nice touch.

                                      2. re: RelishPDX

                                        re how guests will eat deviled eggs: no they will not take "a bite" of deviled egg and then some potato salad. they will down the deviled egg in two bites, max. then they'll think about eating another one. THEN they'll eat some potato salad. ;-).

                                        trust me!

                                        (in other words, i don't think i'm just projecting here. LOL).

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          "...then they'll think about eating another one."

                                          Right! :)

                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                            I would probably take a pile of potato salad and put a couple of devilled eggs on top, as a garnish!

                                          2. re: alkapal

                                            LOL, I like your visual on this. I was thinking how I might eat the potato salad knowing there wasn't any egg in it.

                                            This is going to be a difficult group to feed—a dozen people of varied ages and backgrounds from different regions of the U.S. and one from Micronesia.

                                            We're doing ribs, potato salad, deviled eggs, tabbouleh, and King's Hawaiian rolls. Dessert still a mystery!

                                          3. re: RelishPDX

                                            I sometimes garnish the potato salad on top with the deviled egg halves, instead of mixing hardboiled eggs into the salad. Makes a great presentation.

                                            1. re: laliz

                                              Brilliant. Since I'm going to have to transport the potato salad and deviled eggs, I had been thinking about arranging the filled eggs in paper cupcake cups in a foil pan.

                                              But also decorating the potato salad with deviled eggs gives people a with egg/without egg option. I like this idea a lot.

                                              Thank you!

                                              1. re: RelishPDX

                                                They sell dedicated, deviled egg transporting Tupperware. America, it's a great country. And we love our deviled eggs.

                                            1. In order to keep from typing my entire technique, I'll just link the recipe that mine is based on - I omit the eggs.

                                              After pouring on the (oil based, not creamy) Italian salad dressing and waiting for it to chill in the fridge, I add the "standard" celery and onion along with some fresh parsley and sliced green olives.
                                              It's at this point that on more than one occasion I've decided it's already good and don't add any mayo at all.

                                              1. Hellmann's mayo, zesty pickle juice, EVOO, dill seasoning -- All for starters.

                                                1. I drizzle the potatoes with white wine vinegar while they are still hot.

                                                  My dressing is hellmans mayo, miracle whip, grey poupon, garlic and onion powder and soy sauce. I add eggs, celery and chives.

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                                    From Escoffier:
                                                    Two pounds potatoes, peeled
                                                    1/2 pint dry white wine
                                                    1 bunch watercress
                                                    3 hard-cooked eggs chopped
                                                    1 T chopped fresh parsley

                                                    6 T best olive oil
                                                    2 T white wine vinegar salt/peeper

                                                    Boil potatoes in salted water
                                                    While warm cut into thin slices
                                                    Mix the white wine thoroughly into the potatoes. They will absorb the wine.
                                                    When ready to serve add watercress.
                                                    Mix all dressing ingredients together. Pour over potatoes.
                                                    Arrange the salad in a dome shape and sprinkle with the chopped hard-cooked eggs that have been lightly/gently mixed with the chopped parsley.
                                                    This potato salad is obviously delicious but as with so many Escoffier recipes it is elegant in it's simplicity.

                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                      Puffin3, have you made this? Based on the ingredients, it looks like the potatoes would have a very light coating. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that....want to try making this.

                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                        Yes I've made it a number of times. The recipe I posted is straight from 'The Illustrated Escoffier' page 151. The name of the salad is: 'Salade Cressoniere'.
                                                        Amazon has the used book selling cheap.http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss...
                                                        This is one of the best classic french cook books I have ever seen.
                                                        I really enjoy following the recipes and the results are always excellent. The only time I was ever disappointed was when I did not follow a recipe to the letter. But I've learned my lesson now.
                                                        If you don't have a teaspoon of 'X' don't make the recipe.

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            when husband&kids want PS, they expect what they grew up with> nothing fancy shmancy, just the typical possibly boring variety. of course MIL's was their favorite but not my favorite. simply because it wasn't what I was raised with. her's was wetter and looser creamier and not as flavorful. she'd not add raw onions but did add pimiento.

                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                              Yeah same here. My husband's mother made basically the recipe on the back of Hellmanns, with a slight Italian touch (the olive oil, mainly) but my Mom made it with some kind of Kraft bottled dressing so I do prefer MILs version myself.

                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                for some reason, coll, i tried the ken's russian salad dressing for potato salad -- quite tasty! esp. with adding the boiled eggs.

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  That sounds good, Ken's has some good stuff. My Mom used to get dressings that were specifically for cole slaw or potato salads though. Eh.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    I've been generally disappointed with Ken's preparations. Not trying to be hostile, but just trying to figure out the allure?

                                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                                      Somewhat off-topic from the original subject, but I like Ken's Italian dressing with Romano cheese as a marinade used for about 20 minutes before grilling boneless chicken breasts. It's a time saver compared to making homemade, especially on week nights when pressed for time. The main purpose is to provide some seasoning and moisture so the chicken doesn't dry out or stick to the grates; therefore, the fact that it is inferior to homemade is inconsequential. I never use it as an ingredient in a salad or other dish where the dressing would be integral to the recipe. (Also very inexpensive if on sale and combined with a $1 off coupon, which are ubiquitous in the Sunday inserts.)

                                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                                        I'm only familiar with food service, the grocery store versions may not be all that.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          Coll, I believe they are identical.

                                                                          1. re: masha

                                                                            I don't think so, from what I remember. A lot more preservatives in the store brand. Foodservice and retail are totally different divisions.

                                                                        2. re: rudeboy

                                                                          Ken's Italian used to be liked here, but then everyone started agreeing that either they had changed it or our "tasters had changed".... one of the main reasons I started experimenting with making my own.

                                                        1. I like to dress mine when the potatoes are still warm and I usually toss the cubed potatoes with a little chicken stock mixed with some some dry mustard and dried herbs- just a tad of liquid- and some minced onion. After it cools and soaks up the chicken stock I add Hellman's and hb eggs. My husband makes his with cold potatoes and he uses ball park mustard and Hellman's with a dash of Worcestershire. We take turns making it and like each others version.

                                                          1. The secret ingredient in a Julia Child recipe from which my American-style potato salad evolved (i.e., distinct from German-style, which I also sometimes make) is chicken broth. After slicing the potatoes, while they are still warm, add a bit of chicken broth, which will be absorbed into the potatoes. Then add the vinegar -- for me it's got to be cider vinegar. The result is that the potatoes absorb less of the vinegar, so the mayo-vinegar mixture is more liquid-y.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: masha

                                                              Do you slice the potatoes after the boil, or before (didn't look up the recipe). I slice before boiling. There was another tip on the mashed potatoes thread: once boiled, drain the water and place the potatoes back into the pot over low heat. Dries the regular water out. Then they would soak up that stock really well. I'll have to try stock and cider vinegar.

                                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                                You boil red potatoes in their jackets, whole if they are small, otherwise halved or quartered so that they are the size of small potatoes. You then remove the skin (if you want it removed) and slice while still warm. And, yes, I do believe there was a tip about placing the potatoes back in the pot over a very low heat to make sure they are dry, although I don't do that.

                                                                BTW, the recipe is from a cook book called Julia Childs & Company, which was a companion book to a PBS series by that name, about 30 years ago. The recipe is called "Rosie's Potato Salad." Julia, of course, made her mayonnaise from scratch but I generally just use Hellmans.

                                                                1. re: masha

                                                                  I found the recipe here, masha et. al. hope it paginates right.:


                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                    That's it. I omit the pickle, red pepper and chopped HB eggs in the salad itself. I do garnish with halved HB eggs along the edges and sometimes julienned slices of red pepper along the top.

                                                              2. re: masha

                                                                Finally warm enough in Chicago to trot out the "summer recipes" so I made this potato salad last night. Tasted really good, if I say so myself. BTW, Rudeboy, the version in the hard-copy cookbook that I have is slightly different than the one you found on line, primarily because Julia calls for pimento in place of the red pepper, in the book. But, as stated upthread, I've simplified the recipe and don't use either.

                                                              3. I'm no help. I want mayonnaise and mustard and sour cream in Potato salad. I use poppy seed dressding w/broccoli slaw the make "cole slaw"

                                                                1. As others have said, I like mine to bind a little bit as well. But if I need to thin it out, dill pickle juice would be my go to. I also use chopped eggs, diced onion and diced dill pickles in it. Sweet pickles just don't do it for me. Best foods mayo, yellow mustard and s&p.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                    My aunt uses dill pickles in her potato salad; I really don't care for pickles except in potato or macaroni salad salad (sweet pickles) so it throws a wretch in it for me when she "messes" up the potato salad with dill pickles :(

                                                                  2. I've been served PS twice in which the cubed/chunked potatoes were roasted in olive oil and garlic not boiled in water, what was left in the pan was embellished and developed into either a vinegarette or an aioli. both versions had a great texture and flavor since the potato didn't get mushy like a boiled one can.

                                                                    next time I make it I may try running down that oil and vinegar road (I have too may relatives who insist theirs is the ONLY version that won't damn one to hell).

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      Hill, your comment just reminded me of the time that I had to make potato salad for 250 ppl! There was no way that I was going to boil all those potatoes, so I baked them. After doing some research, I found a recipe from some restaurant in Texas that apparently became famous for its "baked potato salad" (probably started as a way to use up unsold baked potatoes from the night before). I can't seem to find the reference now, but as I remember the recipe used the "loaded" potato ingredients such as sour cream, green onion, grated cheese, bacon, etc. While this certainly was not a traditional potato salad, I do remember that the folks at this event just went crazy for the "loaded baked potato salad". Thanks for reminding me about this event, hill food! PS To your point, yes, as I remember the potatoes were rather dry due to being baked, not boiled, and they absorbed a ton of dressing.

                                                                      1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                        Its a popular recipe up here in canada. In every grocery store deli usually has it either 'twice baked' like you described, sour cream, green onions, bacon bits. Or standard 'homestyle' which is the egg,green onion,celery. Apple is actually a nice addition to the home style.

                                                                        1. re: daislander

                                                                          I had a customer from Canada and his secret ingredient was radishes. He made a great potato salad for his BBQ place. I thought that was the gold standard until now!

                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            i don't think we use radishes as much as we could to enjoy their properties. maybe i should start a radish thread, and ask about all radishes (regular kind i see in store, the french breakfast kind and even the daikon). what do you and other hounds think?

                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                              I think there have been some threads already, because that is where I learned how good raw radish slices with just salt are. I love to buy them with the greens attached and use those in another recipe too.

                                                                              I just unearthed a recipe for a Ukrainian radish salad which I am planning on trying soon, meanwhile I made potato salad last night and remembered to chop a few radishes in there. I love radishes!

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                A radish thread would be nice for such a sublime being.

                                                                        2. Buttermilk. My favorite potato salad recipe is the Cooks Country ranch potato salad with buttermilk and fresh herbs.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                            that sounds terrific. maybe we need a buttermilk thread. i'll see if one has been done already.

                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                              Oh I'm interested in a buttermilk thread too, I use it in a lot of things.

                                                                          2. My dressing is about 1/3 mayo (best foods) and 2/3 plain yogurt* plus some Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. You can up the amount of dressing without it getting so nasty heavy.

                                                                            * regular yogurt is fine if you will be eating the same day, otherwise, use Greek (or strained) yogurt to keep water from separating off over time.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: firecooked

                                                                              why do I want to make potato salad tonight? all this talk about PS is making me hungry-we're going out tonight though

                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                Make it before you go out if you can - it's always better on day 2 & 3. :)

                                                                            2. I know its not traditional but last year I started making sweet potato/yam salad. They serve it in a deli near me and posted the recipe online. I went a few days ago and they revamped there site and its not there! Im hopeful to get it again and I might have saved it on my old comp.
                                                                              Basically its cubed yams with a mayo dressing with onion, raisins and pecans. I usually hate raisins in salad but with the onion tastes like little carmel pieces. Flavours work so well together. Can post when I find it if anyone thinks they might want to try something different.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: daislander

                                                                                please ask them for the recipe. if they had it online i'm sure they wouldn't object to sharing it with you. i'd love to try that!

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  Sweet Potato Salad

                                                                                  What you need:
                                                                                  2-3 yams
                                                                                  1 cup mayonnaise
                                                                                  1/2 cup raisins
                                                                                  1/2 cup chopped pecans (opt)
                                                                                  3/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/2 tsp grated fresh
                                                                                  1/2 cup red onion
                                                                                  1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                  1/2 teaspoon pepper
                                                                                  2 teaspoon lemon juice
                                                                                  1 to 2 pieces celery, chopped
                                                                                  1/2 red pepper, diced (optional)
                                                                                  What you do:
                                                                                  1) Bake yams or Boil yams for about 20 to 30 minutes or until a fork can pierce through, but the yams still hold together. Cool. Peel. Cube.
                                                                                  2) In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss gently with cooled yams.Chill before serving.
                                                                                  Source of recipe: This recipe I got from the people at Planet Organic, I made a few changes to make it my own.

                                                                                2. re: daislander

                                                                                  Actually sweet potato salad is very traditional and popular in the Caribbean . . . if you google it, you'll find lots of wonderful salad recipes using sweet potatoes! I am also a huge fan of sweet potato salad. Here's one recipe for sweet potato salad with raisins and pecans . . . not sure that it's what you're looking for, but it sounds good to me!


                                                                                  1. re: daislander

                                                                                    I made German potato salad (bacon vinaigrette dressing, served warm) with half sweet potatoes for a party last year and it was a HUGE hit. Just sweet enough against the salty bacon.

                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                      I like sweet potato salad when it's half and half. Or one third sweet, one third red and one third Idaho.

                                                                                  2. Yours sounds good. mine is similar - I love to add a head or 2 or roasted garlic to the dressing.

                                                                                    Water chestnuts are also a nice touch me thinks. I always add some fresh parsley for color.

                                                                                    The last time I made potato salad I went too far and it was not loved. I added raw fennel in place of the celary, roasted red bells and artichoke hearts. It was good, but even foodies want a basic potato salad - not too fancy.

                                                                                    Now, I stick to the roasted garlic - I also use sour cream instead of mayo.

                                                                                    I learned my leason - no need to mess with a classic too much.... the roasted garlic stays however.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sparky403

                                                                                      Something I like to do is to take a classic dish and use the ingredients to make a different classic dish.
                                                                                      Here's my 'Colcannon' potato salad:
                                                                                      Cook the potatoes. Cube them. While warm pour over a couple of ounces dry white wine. Set aside. While the potatoes are cooking blanch a cup or so of rough chopped young cabbage along with a couple of rough chopped shallots and as many whole peeled/halved garlic cloves as you like. Then gently sauté them in clarified butter seasoned with S&P. Gently add these ingredients, while still warm, to the potatoes. Pour over your choice of dressing. I use 6 T of best olive oil well combined with 2 T white wine vinegar. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley just before serving.

                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                        That sounds deliciously simple. Often, that's the best.

                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                          Sounds good... I may have to give this a try.

                                                                                        2. re: sparky403

                                                                                          It comes down to basics; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

                                                                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                            For every potato there is a different salad waiting. LOL

                                                                                        3. I stick with Low fat mayo. I add all the regulars and toss in some minced green olives and garnish the top with slices of boiled eggs, thin sliced green olives and a sprinkle of paprika.

                                                                                          1. One variation is a more french-influenced: red potato and green beans - maybe shallots. Slice the potato when still ward and dress with olive oil, w/white wine and white wine vinegar, salt and lots of cracked black pepper. toss w/ steamed green beans and shallots. If needed thin w/a little more wine and olive oil. This really stands out on a pot luck table w/more familiar potato -mayo-egg salads.

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: kariin

                                                                                              I make something similar but dress with a mustard vinaigrette, made with cider vinegar.

                                                                                                  1. re: masha

                                                                                                    I think of it as my secret ingredient ;-)

                                                                                            2. I don't always have a huge amount of potatoes but for some reason, I do right now.

                                                                                              After reupping this thread decided today is the day for potato salad. In the boiling water goes the potatoes and then I'll do the additives.

                                                                                              Sticking to my normal way of making the dressing and the usual suspects of veg ingredients going in, the only thing I 'may' do differently is add a bit of coffee cream/1/2&1/2/heavy cream/double cream to the dressing to see if that enriches it more. I know when it's sat in the frig all day getting ready for it's performance it can go pretty dry. I'm hoping to get past that for tonights' dinner.
                                                                                              we'll see what/how the results turn out to be.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                Interesting that you say this, iL Divo: "In the boiling water goes the potatoes and then I'll do the additives." I was always told that is was a *crime* to add raw potatoes to boiling water. The potatoes *must* be added to cold water and then gently brought to a strong simmer, or else they would turn to soggy mush. Have you always added your potatoes to boiling water and if so, have you had any mush problems? Also, if you don't mind, what variety of potato are you using?

                                                                                                1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                  I misspoke. You're right, even Paul Prudhomme told me that. sorry got caught up with the thought of doing PS

                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                    Darn! I thought you had unearthed a cooking myth! :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                      no was just in the moment is all.
                                                                                                      I wasn't being literal, just sayin

                                                                                              2. A big thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. Yesterday I made 3 lbs. of potato salad to bring to a BBQ this afternoon. I tweaked the dressing by adding a tbsp. of veg. oil and a tbsp. of pickle juice from a big jar of Bread & Butter pickles.

                                                                                                The other changes were more basic, pre-dressing: changed out red potatoes in favor of russets, and followed Kenji's technique for cooking them (see The Food Lab on SE for Classic Potato Salad).

                                                                                                These two things made a world of difference; I just finished a very, very small portion (quality control can only go so far - I've got to *feed* people with this! not just tease them with a sample) and I think this salad has come up to a new level while retaining the essential taste I love.