How to make the perfect Potato Salad
Cooking and preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves four to six people
A good potato salad is surely everybody’s favourite side dish. It works brilliantly as a picnic item, scooped up messily on plastic forks, and it is an indispensable component of any buffet lunch, along with cold meats, cheeses and hunks of torn bread.
The great thing about potato salad is that there are literally thousands of ways of preparing it. You can easily throw in your preferred condiments and spices, make it punchy and fiery with chilli and pepper, or cool and creamy with cheese and chives.
Once you’ve got the basics down, the opportunities are as endless. There is some debate over what type of potato is best - but really, it depends on the effect and result you’re aiming for. For us, small, waxy, red potatoes are best, as they hold together their form and don’t end up a floury, fluffy mess in the bowl.
Here is a potato salad recipe inspired by the classic sides you’ll find at barbeques and diners across the US - have a go, enjoy, and improvise from here!
What you'll need:
- 5 medium red potatoes
- 2 or 3 teaspoons of smooth mustard (as hot as you like)
- Half a teaspoon of vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of pickle juice (just open a jar of gherkins and use the brine)
- A pinch of sugar
- One finely chopped, large gherkin (or more, to taste)
- 2 teaspoons of milk
- Mayonnaise to taste
- One chopped hard boiled egg (optional)
Chop up your potatoes into eight equal pieces (more or less - no need for precision here!), and cook in a pan of boiling, salted water until nice and tender. Drain them off, and put to one side to cool and dry.
Take your milk, pickle juice, mustard, vinegar and sugar, and mix well in a bowl. This will be your dressing.
Toss the potatoes in the dressing, so they are evenly covered. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in your mayonnaise, along with your chopped gherkin and boiled egg. Stick it in the fridge to chill, then enjoy with friends.
US Diner Style Potato Salad and Wine Pairing
There’s no reason why a delicious, punchy potato salad like this one shouldn’t be the main feature of your meal. When it comes to pairing a wine with potato salad, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You’ll want a reasonably light-bodied, summery wine - one you’ll want to sip at a picnic with a range of different light foods - and one which is going to cut through all the mayonnaise and condiments, while not interrupting the soft flavour of potato you want to maintain on your tongue.
For us, the perfect picnic wine is an Albarino. This Spanish wine is the very essence of summer, bursting with botanical notes and flavours of soft, summer fruits like apricot and peach.
As they say, potato salad always satisfies. And we absolutely agree! Now that you already know the classic, US-style recipe of this must-have side dish, why not explore new wines and see which pair best with your personal taste?
Go ahead and take our short wine palate quiz below!