Ladies and gentlemen, I have terrific news: my hunt for the quintessential potato salad is over. I finally have a straightforward, unfussy potato salad recipe that makes my heart swoon (indeed, my heart is palpating from the mayo levels). You probably had no idea that this was an important quest of mine but let me tell you, this search has been going on for quite some time.
I wanted a potato salad that had an ingredient list that was both short and uncomplicated and I wanted a potato salad that with one bite would transport me to a hot summer afternoon with wafts of grilled meat floating past my sunburned nose. Luckily, last Saturday my friends hosted a day in the ‘burbs complete with a trip to a brewery, a dip in the pool, a barbecue and a potluck. Upon my invitation I bought a two-pound bag of the smallest red potatoes I could find, put them on to boil and promptly forgot about them as I busied myself around my un-air conditioned house. The skins burst, but the flesh was not too worse for the wear due to my inattention and the rest of the potato salad came together as the spuds cooled.
After everything was mixed together I put the finished salad into the refrigerator to cool (room temperature mayonnaise doesn’t usually do it for me) and waited anxiously to take my first bite. About an hour later I pulled out the speckled salad and removed the plastic wrap to reveal one of the most perfectly balanced potato salads I had ever tasted. The dressing to potato ratio is spot on, and the scallions and caraway seeds give some added crunch and texture. At the barbecue potluck, everyone was so hot, tired and hungry that we all ate in silence, but I felt like victory was mine. My version of the perfect potato salad had been found.
burg’s potato salad
adapted from A Homemade Life
yields about 8 servings
2 pounds red, waxy potatoes (as small as you can find them)
1 bunch scallions (about 8 green onions), thinly sliced
4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped/crumbled
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 prepared ranch dressing
2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Scrub the potatoes and add to a large pot of salted, boiling water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and release easily when the tip of a knife is inserted. Drain the potatoes and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into even cubes.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, caraway seeds and fresh dill. Taste for seasonings. Add the cooled potatoes, scallions and egg. Stir to coat the salad ingredients with the dressing. Serve at room temperature or chilled.