Monday, June 9, 2008

RECIPE: Summer Potato Salad


This potato salad recipe came to me through my friend Julie's mother-in-law, Connie. I don't know if Connie invented it or whether she found it somewhere herself. All I know is that whenever it showed up at a Fourth of July pitch-in or a 500 Race Day Party or someone's graduation open house, it started off looking like something ready for a magazine photo shoot with a sprig of dill and a cherry tomato on top in a Dutch blue serving bowl and forty minutes later, looked like a sprig of dill and a battered cherry tomato in the bottom of an empty Dutch blue serving bowl that had potato salad remnants thinly smeared around the edge, where someone had taken their nasty finger to it.

It is really, really good. So cool, creamy and rich, with that piquant bit of dill and the tiniest little bite from the green onions. I hope you'll make it and enjoy it.

This recipe makes enough potato salad for my gang to enjoy at dinner for about four or five days, although it usually doesn't last that long because we end up dipping up a spoonful here and there for lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

four large potatoes OR six medium potatoes, peeled, cooked, diced and cooled

2 stalks celery, washed and diced

4 green onions, washed and diced

1 T dried dill OR 1/4 cup fresh dill

4 hard cooked eggs, shelled and chopped

one small can ripe olives, drained

salt

freshly ground pepper

Hellmann's Mayonnaise (regular sized jar) (use Hellmann's Lite if you must)

2 T prepared mustard


DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, add potato chunks, celery, green onions, eggs, dill and olives. Add the mustard, then begin adding the mayonnaise about a half-cup at a time and stirring. Seriously, you're going to use about 3/4 of the jar. I know. But don't be scared. You're not going to eat this in ginormous bowlsful because it's very rich and now you know why.

Add the mayo until the potato mixture is creamy. You'll know when you get there because it will look absolutely delicious. Now you need to add the salt and it will take more salt that you ever thought possible, more salt than is contained in the entire Dead Sea, it seems. Anyway, I add it about a teaspoonful at a time, stir, and taste. Keep that up until it has achieved the level of saltiness that you prefer. Then add some grinds of black pepper.

Additional Ingredients:

You can thinly slice about three radishes and add to this if you'd like some extra bite. The radishes seem to balance the buttery richness of the ripe olives very nicely. Plus, they add a cheerful little burst of color. Don't make the slices too thick, though, because they interfere with the salad's texture with a little too much crunch.

You can substitute capers for the ripe olives if you'd like, but then you have to call the green onions "scallions" instead of green onions and you have to broadly hint to whoever eats the salad that you made the mayonnaise yourself. And that you personally went to Idaho to select the potatoes, peeling them with a titanium veg peeler with a counterweighted grip that was uniquely conformed to the shape of your hand by a master kitchen tool artisan in Quebec.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

Now, this recipe sounds like something I can really get into trying...olives (or capers) sound like a great addition...never ever thought of adding either of those and I am now asking myself why not.

When I return, I am trying this one. Thanks for sharing.