There are hundreds of recipes out there for good potato salad and everyone has their favorite. Americans have been enjoying one version or another of this side dish that makes great use of the humble potato since the mid 19th century. Despite its masquerading as a popular All-American dish, its origins probably began among the Teutonic peoples in and around Germany, where it was traditionally served hot with a warm bacon, vinegar, and onion dressing. The French and English preferred a cold dish with mayonnaise-based dressing. While I do appreciate warm German potato salad, it is the cold version that comes to mind when someone refers to this favorite.
When I think of salad, I automatically think of various rough chopped or torn vegetables, sometimes joined by pasta, meat, chicken, eggs (of course), cheese, and or seafood. I don’t think of marshmallows, puréed fruits, gelatin, etc as ‘salad’. Right or wrong, I think of these “sweet treats” as more of a dessert no matter if the word ‘salad’ is included in the recipe’s title. The term ‘salad’ is derived from the Latin word ‘sal’, meaning salt and gave rise to the Latin term ‘herba salata’ or literally, “salted herb”. So to me a salad is not primarily sweet. Sure, it can have a sweet note, such as bits of dried or fresh fruit or even candied nuts, but overall I’m going to have to lean toward salad’s old world beginnings as the defining term as far as I am concerned.
Back to Potato Salad…as noted earlier, there are hundreds of potato salad recipes and each I’m sure has their deserved champions. A lot of potato salad recipes end with the potatoes rather well-cooked, and as a result the potatoes are of more of a mashed consistency. This does not scream ‘salad’ to me. Over the years I have developed my own version of this summertime picnic favorite. My version uses tender, but still chunky potatoes, fresh celery, sweet red onions, and hard-cooked eggs. I have had many positive reviews and requests for my recipe, so for all those thinking about trying a new version; be my guest.
PERFECT CHUNKY POTATO SALAD
6 medium potatoes (or equivalent)
6 hard-boiled eggs
(Hard boil an extra egg for garnish if desired.)
3 large stalks of celery
½ of a medium red onion
1¼ cups mayonnaise
¼ cup honey mustard
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1¼ tsp seasoned salt
1½ tsp paprika
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp celery seed
¾ tsp lemon pepper
¾ tsp celery salt
½ tsp ground mustard seed
Peel potatoes. Slice about ¾ to 1 inch thick. Quarter each slice. (Depending on the actual potato slice you might divide into sixths for a large potato slice, or simple halve for a smaller slice. The end result should be CHUNKS – not small dices.) Rinse, and then cover with water in a large sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn heat down to medium. Watch carefully! The secret to this potato salad is not to let the potatoes get over cooked. After the first 5 minutes once the pot begins to boil, check potatoes every 2 minutes. Potatoes should hold their shape and be tender enough to cut with a fork, but still have a slight resistance. The goal here is NOT to have mashed potatoes! When potatoes are done, drain in a colander, rinse with cool water, and transfer to a medium bowl.
Peel and chop hard boiled eggs. Add to potatoes. (For tips on cooking hard-boiled eggs, visit my website: http://fowlersfarmfresh.com/recipes/Hardboiled.pdf) Chop celery and red onion and add to potatoes and eggs. Add remaining ingredients, and mix gently so that all are evenly distributed. Adjust seasoning if necessary. If desired, you can slice an additional hard-boiled egg and arrange on top for garnish and sprinkle with a little extra paprika.
Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld. Enjoy!
(Recipe can be doubled if making for a larger crowd.)Send to friend