Monday, May 03, 2010

Perfect Potato Salad

This is always a huge hit. I get Raves from my guests every time I serve this. The recipe makes a ton (serves 15-20). You can half it, though.

One of the keys to success here is cooking the potatoes until they are just done. Don't over cook them and end up with a mushy mess. They should be firm to the bite for the best results. Also, if your onion seems very strong, either get another one or use half. You'll be tossing the warm potatoes with a vinaigrette (recipe below). Make that in advance. The recipe makes much more than you will need for the salad - you might want to quarter or half it if you won't use vinaigrette for something else.


6 pounds small Red Bliss potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled.
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
6 ribs celery, choppped
1 large red onion, minced (make sure it is not too strong!)
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup Basic Herb Vinaigrette (see below)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream

1. Prepare the carrots, onion, celery and dill and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Heat to boiling and simmer uncovered until fork-tender (but not too soft). Drain in a colander. (I lay them out on a towel to dry.)

2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle (but still warm - as warm as you can stand it - cut them into uneven chunks and combine them with the vegetables in the bowl. Mix together the vinaigrette and the white wine and add it to the bowl. Toss well.

3. Mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add it to the bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate the salad for at least a few hours to blend the flavors.

Basic Herb Vinaigrette

4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 T Dijon Mustard
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 T dried Italian Herb Blend
salt & pepper

1. Whisk garlic and mustard together in a mixing bowl.
2. Pour in olive and vegetable oils in a steady stream while continuing to whisk. (I have done this in a blender or using a hand held blender stick with very good results.)
3. Mix in dried herbs and salt and pepper.
4. Let stand at room temperature for a couple of hours to blend the flavors.
5. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Makes about 4 cups.

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