Viv’s Potato Salad
Dear Mother Nature, I know that it’s summer time, but really, is it necessary to make it so hot that one can literally fry an egg on the sidewalk? So would begins my mental letter to the forces of nature which has deemed it necessary to pleasure and delight us with 100+ degree weather these past few days. Luckily, I had been away for the first few days in the somewhat cooler climates of the Catskills, but my shriveled lawn bore testament to the scorching heat that we are calling the summer of 2010. Good thing my neighbors’ lawns are equally as pitiable…I feel less like the sore thumb of the neighborhood.
Focusing back to the cooler weather of upstate NY and away from the heat dome of NJ, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the holiday weekend amongst friends for plenty of relaxation, fun, games, beer, and of course, food. My initial contribution to the weekend’s feast was this potato salad which I had learned from my former mother in law, Viv. Originally titled “America’s Best Potato Salad” I can believe that it very well could give most other potato salads a run for their money.
Too often, I find myself eating potato salads that are either just potatoes with just enough mayo to moisten and keep your palette from become an arid wasteland or too much mayo such that it becomes a mayonnaise salad with some potatoes for texture or my personal favorite, potato salad which is smothered by its other ingredients, be it onions, celery, eggs, or vinegar. Granted, I may be coming off as a little picky about my potato salad, but really, is it too much to hope for? A good potato salad that serves as the appropriate complement to my grilled creations?
Viv’s salad manages to strike the right balance to appease my persnickety demands…not too heavy on the mayonnaise and boasting enough other complementary flavors to enhance the potatoes without overwhelming it. I love that instead of celery, you use celery seed as part of the seasoning. It gives this salad a nice savoriness that you usually don’t see and, best yet, I can sneak in celery-ness without Mai (the anti celery member of our household) noticing it. You know it’s got to be good if I went ahead and made 5lbs of it for this weekend and it didn’t make it through the first night that we were there. Yes…I did say 5lbs
I find this does get better with time and I usually prefer to make it about a day or 2 before I’m planning to serve it. Makes it an ideal recipe for entertaining as you can make and prep this well in advanced to give you more freedom and time to do other things, like make dessert 😉
4 cups diced cooked potatoes (about 2lbs)
4 hard cooked eggs, diced
1 medium sized onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 tbsp sweet relish
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
Combine potatoes, eggs, onion, and green pepper in medium sized bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add to salad and mix well. Chill overnight.