Friday, August 3, 2012

A Potato Salad Summer

Summer Garden Potato Salad
When I promised to bring the potato salad for a BBQ we were invited to last month, I forgot that my usual go-to recipe called for red-skinned spuds and all we had were russets. Oops. So off I went to look online for another recipe, because I just love making something for the first time at the last minute... don't you? (that was just the tiniest bit of sarcasm)

Martha Stewart came through for me (as she so often does), not only with a potato salad recipe featuring good old russet potatoes, but a delicious and oh-so-beautiful potato salad recipe featuring russets. So colorful, it's worthy of the most festive of picnics and other summer events. It's practically a party all by itself. I was entirely pleased with how it came out, which is, of course, a good thing. So I made it again last weekend for our church picnic... as far as recipes go, it's definitely a keeper.

Festive, delicious, and easy to put together, this potato salad is both familiar and a little special at the same time...

Summer Garden Potato Salad  
adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine (June 2000) and The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (page 226)

8-9 russet potatoes
3 T apple cider vinegar
3 large eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dry mustard
kosher salt & black pepper
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
2 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley

Hard-boil your eggs first...
Place the eggs in the bottom of a pan and fill with cool water, covering by 1/2 to 1-inch. Bring to a boil, remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 12 minutes. Carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking further. When eggs are completely cooled, tap them all over against the side of the sink and peel under cool running water. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Cook the potatoes...
Scrub the potatoes and place in a large pot. Cover with at least 2-inches of water and bring to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and turn the heat down. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until a paring knife slides easily to the center. Drain the potatoes and very carefully remove the skins with the paring knife, protecting your hands with gloves or towels. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, place into a bowl and sprinkle the vinegar over them.

Make the dressing...
Chop the hard-boiled eggs and add them to a large bowl along with the mayonnaise, mustard, 2 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp black pepper. Whisk together. Add the potatoes, herbs and vegetables, stirring well to distribute everything. Taste it and add more seasoning if needed. The flavors will benefit from some time together in the fridge, so try to make this the day before you want to serve it. Serves 10-12.

My Notes: I initially chose this recipe because it used russets (which I had a lot of) instead of red-skinned (which I had none of). But what was unexpected was how great it was to use some things from my garden and also how much better it tasted because of the homemade mayo.  If you have the few minutes it takes to quickly make up a batch of mayo, I truly think the potato salad tastes better for it.
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