All American Potato Salad

Change.  It’s in the air this week.  Monday brought with it a change of seasons – the first day of summer!  I love all four of our seasons here in New England so I really can’t say that summer is my favorite, but it certainly has some sweet attributes.  Baseball games, long days (sunsets as late as 8:30 pm excite me more than I could possibly put into words), the beach, grilling…I could go on and on but let’s focus on grilling for a minute.  We do a lot of it in the summer and I’m always trying to find new recipes for side dishes to accompany our proteins.  I made this potato salad to serve at our Father’s Day lunch this past weekend and it was a hit.  It had lots of flavor and was well dressed, but not swimming in mayonnaise like many other versions of potato salad.  Safe to say it’s a definite repeat here this summer!

All American Potato Salad

Change is also coming to our lives in a second way this week.  Tomorrow I head back to work after a little some a lot of time off.  This is amazingly good news for our family and for me personally, but it’s also quite scary.  My new job comes with one heck of a commute and I’m a bit worried about finding time to do all the things I’ve grown to love over the past few years, not the least of which is this blog.  I know there’s going to be an adjustment period but I hope that as I settle into a routine I’ll figure out a way to make it all work.  In the meantime, posting may not be as frequent and I may not be able to visit my friends’ blogs as often as I’d like but overall, this change is very exciting and I’m looking forward to it!

All-American Potato Salad
from More Best Recipes by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 medium celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (optional)

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then add 1 tablespoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium.  Simmer, stirring once or twice until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will break apart in the salad.

Drain the potatoes then put them in a large bowl.  Add the vinegar and, using a rubber spatula, toss gently to combine (the potatoes may crumble a bit, don’t worry).  Let the potatoes stand until they are just warm (about 20 minutes) or even completely cool.

In a small bowl stir together the mayo, celery, relish, onion, parsley, dry mustard, celery seed, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dressing and eggs (if you’re using them) into the potatoes.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour.  The potato salad can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator.