Herbed Red Potato Salad

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

I don't know how I've managed to go this long without blogging my potato salad recipe, but I figured Easter is the right time to pull it out. Many of you had it from the old days on Twitter. I'm recycling some older photos for this post, since I never got around to adding this one to an e-book. I have been making this potato salad for years, and it's a hit at every cookout. But here's my disclaimer: There is no relish, no paprika, and not a lot of mustard. I'm warning you because I get the same look at every cookout until someone actually tries it. So relax, and don't call me Karen - there are no raisins. Instead, I like to let the red potatoes and fresh herbs shine - lots of them. Think tarragon, chives, dill, and Italian parsley - any mix of the four will do, but if you can't find them all, the chives and dill are my personal faves. (Dill is also still good as a dried herb, just use less of it.)

Duke's mayo is a must if you can get your hands on it. It's nice and tangy, instead of sweet. Sour cream is used to cut the mayo so the dressing is perfectly balanced and creamy. (Plain yogurt is a good substitute for the sour cream, but don't skip the mayo.) I used to include buttermilk, but prefer the thicker sauce these days. You can make this with red onions or shallots - shallots add a nice onion flavor without being so assertive. Now that I grew up and can tolerate celery, I add fresh celery in addition to the celery seeds. The most important thing for this potato salad is to start with potatoes that are cooked properly. I love red-skinned potatoes because they don't need to be peeled, just scrub them clean. After cooking, they should be fork-tender but hold their shape; a little bit of creaminess is good but you don't want to turn this into mashed potatoes. If you want to cheat, you can use a couple bags of steam-ready potatoes and cook them in the microwave. The advantage of boiling the potatoes in a pot is that you can salt the water, which seasons the potatoes all the way through.

Herbed Red Potato Salad

6 large eggs
5 lbs small red potatoes
Kosher salt, as needed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup mayo (preferably Duke's)
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp celery seeds
2 TBSP Dijon or creole mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (a mix such as tarragon, dill, chives, parsley)
1/2 cup diced shallot or red onion
1/4 cup diced celery

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: Serves 10 to 12* 
Recommended equipment (affiliate links): large stockpot, saucepanmixing bowls

*Note: Recipe can be halved, with no changes.

Recipe instructions:

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil and carefully submerge the eggs. Boil for exactly 11 minutes, then drain the water and transfer the eggs to an ice-bath. Allow the eggs to cool completely before peeling and roughly chopping.
  2. Submerge clean potatoes in a large stockpot filled with salted water. (If potatoes are larger than the palm of your hand, you can halve them first.) Salt the water as you would for pasta - a tablespoon or two is fine. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the potatoes until they are fork-tender.
  3. Carefully drain the water and shake the potatoes dry. Once they are cool enough to handle, quarter the potatoes or chop into bite-size chunks. Sprinkle with vinegar, and if needed, a little bit of salt. (I always taste them to be sure.)
  4. While the potatoes cook, you can prepare the dressing. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, pepper, celery seeds, mustard, and most of the chopped herbs. I like to save a sprinkling of herbs to garnish my potato salad later. (Here's a secret...you basically just made ranch dressing.)
  5. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing and set aside. Gently toss the cooked potatoes with the remaining dressing to coat well. Add the onions and celery, and toss again. Give the potato salad a taste test; keep in mind the flavors will come together more after the salad chills.
  6. Fold in the chopped eggs. Cover and chill the potato salad at least an hour, but ideally overnight. Before serving, fold in the reserved dressing. (Potatoes soak up a lot of the dressing.) Garnish with the reserved herbs.

Food Safety: When serving, do not leave potato salad out at room temperature for longer than two hours, or one hour in warm weather. If possible, keep the serving dish inside a larger container filled with ice, especially if serving outdoors in warm weather. Leftover potato salad should be consumed within 3 days. 

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  1. This is something new to try. I love potatoes and what’s great is that you don’t need a mayo! awesome! thanks a lot for sharing this!I’ve made this twice now for get-togethers, and it was well-received both times. In addition to the flavors and textures, I like the simple ingredients and straight-forward preparation. It works so well for my vegetarian and non-mayo friends. Win, win!

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