When spring slips into summer, it's time to start thinking about outdoor food. One of the most classic summer dishes is potato salad. Potato salad is the perfect side dish to accompany practically any dish at a barbecue. Hot dogs, hamburgers and even fried chicken go well with the summer side dish.
Since the most basic potato salad consists of boiled potatoes and some sort of mayonnaise and cider vinegar, it's easy to customize your potato salad to your own taste.
Preparing to Boil Potatoes
Boiling potatoes is necessary for mashed potatoes, or when you'd like to use potatoes in a salad. Plus, boiling helps to cook the potatoes very evenly. Make sure to use all-purpose or waxy potatoes since they tend to have a nice creamy texture once boiled. You can boil cubed or whole potatoes, but just make sure the pieces are roughly the same size so that they all cook at the same rate. You can boil potatoes with or without the skin on, but they tend to cook better without being peeled.
How to Boil Potatoes
- Be sure to scrub the potatoes clean. You can also cut them into cubes of the same size if you'd like them to cook faster than they would whole.
- Put the potatoes in a pot of cold water. Then stir in a tablespoon of salt.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to simmer. (Don't cover the pot, which can cause the potatoes to get mushy.)
- Test the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done. If a fork slides into their centers with ease then they are finished.
- Drain the potatoes into a strainer or remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. (You can run the potatoes under cold water to cool them down if you're making your potato salad to be immediately served.)
Classic Potato Salad
A classic potato salad generally consists of boiled potatoes mixed with mayo, vinegar, mustard, celery and sometimes even bacon or hard boiled eggs.
Red Potato Salad
Red potato salad is probably the dish you will see most often at American picnics and barbecues. It includes red potatoes, salt, white wine vinegar, mayo, parsley and shallots or onions, but can be served in a variety of ways. Many recipes skip the mayo for a less creamy dish.
German Potato Salad
What is German potato salad, you wonder? Kartoffelsalat is a well-known variation of potato salad that includes red potatoes, vinegar, oil, bacon, red onion and is sometimes topped with chives. German potato salad is typically served warm and is often enjoyed with German sausage.
Southern Potato Salad
Southern potato salad often includes chopped hard boiled eggs and pickles or mustard.
Here are some tasty potato salad recipes to try:
- Creamy Potato Salad with Eggs, Peas and Chives
- Potato Salad with Hummus-Yogurt Dressing
- Mama's Potato Salad
- Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lemon
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