Potato salad is one of my favorite summertime side dishes any-season comfort foods. Its wide adaptability virtually guarantees that everyone can find a version they’ll love—don’t like celery? Skip it. Not crazy about mustard? Leave it out. What I particularly like about this version is that by using small yellow potatoes rather than russets, you get a satisfyingly creamy salad even though there is only a modest amount of mayonnaise (and light mayonnaise at that).
If you have time, I recommend making the potato salad the day before you plan to eat it—this allows the flavors to marinate and intensify. I recently made this for a barbecue, and we devoured all of it. Our sense of decorum might have been the only thing standing in the way of licking the serving bowl itself.
- 2 pounds small yellow potatoes
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped finely
- 1/3 cup dill pickles, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 tablespoons diced pimentos
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2-3 tablespoons pickle juice (optional, see note)
- Scrub the potatoes, then place in a large pot and fill the pot with water (there should be about 1 1/2 inches of water above the tops of the potatoes). Add one teaspoon of salt. Bring water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife.
- While the potatoes are cooking, combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Also while the potatoes are cooking, chop celery, pickles, and eggs. Combine with pimentos in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Once potatoes are cooked, transfer the potatoes to a large bowl of ice water, using a slotted spoon. Optional: once they are cool, peel the skin off the potatoes with your fingers.
- Cut peeled potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the potatoes and toss to combine.
- Add celery, pickles, eggs, and pimentos to the large bowl. Add mayonnaise and remaining dressing and stir to combine. If you prefer a smoother potato salad, mash some of the potatoes with a wooden spoon.
- Season with dill, and add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving (and overnight, if possible).
- For an extra boost of bright, tangy flavor, add 2-3 tablespoons pickle juice to the dressing.
- If you want this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to check the labels on the mayonnaise and vinegar. I use Hellmann’s mayo, which is gluten-free, and certain vinegars (such as apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar) should be as well.
[post updated with new photos 5/29/16]