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Potato Salad Tips

Tips and variations for perfect potato salad.

Everyday Food, June 2007


  • For a potato salad that doesn't end up mushy, use waxy potatoes, which keep their shape better than starchy baking potatoes.
  • For even cooking, make sure the potatoes are cut into uniform pieces.
  • For a hint of sweetness, add a pinch of sugar to the vinegar mixture. For extra tang, sub in sour cream for some of the mayonnaise.
  • For warm-weather picnics, make a no-mayo version: replace the mayo in my basic recipe with 1/2 cup olive oil whisked with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
  • For balanced flavor, keep your mix-ins simple (but still be creative). I like celery and hard-cooked egg. Take it easy on salty and acidic ingredients (combining, say, pickles, capers, and olives would be too much).

Mix-and-Match Mix-Ins (add after salad cools)

  • Sliced celery
  • Diced red onion
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Chopped pickles
  • Slivered green olives
  • Capers
  • Chopped herbs
  • Chopped hard-cooked eggs
  • Crumbled bacon

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