If you’re looking for the perfect potato salad for your end-of-the-year celebrations, look no further! This one is amazing and has a taste that’s out of this world. This is definitely not your classic potato salad recipe because it has many textures and flavours, cutting through the monotony you typically have with potato salads. It’s the perfect side dish for any protein that you might be planning to prepare for the holidays.
What’s so special about this potato salad
Did you know that some of the most searched-for phrases related to potato salads include “potato salad without celery”, “potato salad recipe with pickles” and “dairy-free potato salad”? Well, guess what! This version of potato salad checks all of those boxes. I would love to tell you that I planned this recipe with those phrases in mind, but it’s just a coincidence. The recipe is very easy but it does have lots of ingredients that, when put together, create the most spectacular side dish. Once you cook the ingredients in the list that need cooking, it just comes down to placing everything in a large mixing bowl and mixing.
How to cook potatoes for potato salad
Every potato salad lover knows that one of the hotspots of making a homemade potato salad is the cooking of the potatoes. This will also be the first thing that you do! You want them to be soft but not mushy, and you want them to be firm but not hard. To achieve this I live to cut the potatoes prior to cooking. I find that in this way they hold their structure better than if you cook them whole and then cut them up. I also love to keep the potato skins on which add texture and a bit of colour to an old-fashioned potato salad that’s a rather white-coloured dish and it also helps to keep the potato pieces whole.
You will cook the potatoes in a large pot of water at room temperature. It doesn’t have to be cold water; room-temperature water is fine. You will also season the water heavily as if you were cooking pasta. The salted water will add flavour to the potatoes as they cook. You will cook them over medium heat until they are tender when you go through them with a knife. Avoid using high heat for this process as it will cook the outside of the potato too fast so that when the inside of the potato is cooked, the outside is already fluffy. Then, you strain your cooked potatoes and let them cool down before putting the salad together. Don’t place the potatoes in an ice bath, as they will lose some of the flavour we added with the salty water.
This might be the best potato salad recipe and it has simple ingredients. It does have many of them but they’re nothing complicated. If there’s an easy addition to this list is hard-boiled eggs. If you love a potato salad with eggs, go ahead and add them and it will work really well. For this recipe, I would add two.
- Potatoes: these are the stars of the show. When it comes to the kind of potatoes, I like to use new potatoes but you could also use red potatoes, russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes. I like to wash them, keep the skins on and then cut them into pieces. Make sure that the size of your potatoes is bite-size.
- Bacon: bacon adds a lovely smokey flavour, that nice burst of salt and of course that flavour that we all love.
- Olive oil: we use olive oil to cook the leek.
- Leek: this recipe calls for only the white part of the leek and we cook it until slightly golden. You could replace the leek with red onion, brown onion or even shallots.
- Pickles: I used dill pickles but you could also use sweet pickles. It really depends on your personal preference.
- Capers: for me, these are always a good idea. They are these juicy bursts of acidity and saltiness. With them and the pickles in the mix, it’s not necessary to add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the dressing.
- Dill: This herb is so delicious! I love it and use it constantly. Another great combination is in this Shrimp Salad Sandwich.
- Chives: chives add freshness and that sharper flavour. You can also swap it for green onions/spring onions.
- Mayonnaise: use the creamiest mayonnaise you can find for this.
- Dijon mustard: just a touch of Dijon mustard makes all the difference and adds lots of flavour. You can replace if with yellow mustard but the result is slightly different.
- Salt: Even though the mayonnaise has salt, we do add a lot more ingredients, so taste the potato salad and make sure that it doesn’t need a bit more.
- Black pepper: pepper is always welcome in a potato salad and adds a bit of interest.
There are a few frequently asked questions that you might have as well when making my version of potato salad:
- How long to cook potatoes for potato salad? If your potatoes are cut to bite-sized pieces, they will need 15-20 minutes from the moment the water starts to boil.
- How long does potato salad last in the fridge? It can last up to 5 days in an airtight container.
- Why does my mayonnaise disappear? If you mix the dressing with hot potatoes or even warm potatoes, the mayonnaise will start to melt and become translucent. You definitely want the potatoes to cool down completely before mixing them in.
Since we already have a lot of ingredients in this recipe, I decided to keep the creamy dressing very simple. The potato salad dressing just has mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. The key will be to choose the right mayonnaise that’s tasty but also has a creamy mouthfeel. It will immediately become your favorite creamy potato salad recipe. The combination of the salad’s ingredients and the dressing is just gorgeous! It makes it perfect for any and all family gatherings and potlucks. You could also add sour cream, but if I’m honest, I don’t think you need it here! Once you have all the ingredients set up and your dressing made, then it all comes down to mixing in a large bowl, serving and enjoying.
Epic Potato Salad Recipe
For the potato salad
- 1 kg new potatoes cut in halves or quarters depending on the size
- 6 bacon slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek only the white part, cut into thin half-moons
- 4 tbsp pickles finely chopped
- 50 g drained capers
- 2 tsp chopped dill
- 2 tsp chopped chives
For the dressing
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
For the potato salad
- In a large pot of water, add the potatoes as well as a good pinch of salt. Place the pot over medium heat. From the moment it starts to boil they will need 15-20 minutes. You should be able to go through them easily with a knife. Don't let them boil too hard or they could start to disintegrate. Strain the potatoes and let them cool down.
- In a large frying pan, cook the bacon slices over medium heat until evenly golden on both sides. You don't need to use any oil for this. Remove them from the pan and pat them with kitchen paper to remove the excess fat. Let them cool down completely and chop them finely.
- Add the leek to the same pan along with the olive oil. Cook it over medium heat until it's soft and slightly golden. Remember to add salt to it. Remove it and reserve until they have cooled down.
- Once everything that we cooked has cooled down, mix the potatoes with the bacon, leek, pickles and capers.
- In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing together and add them to the potatoes. Mix everything together.
- Finish by adding the herbs and mix. Taste the level of salt and correct if needed.