Potato salad takes time, so it should be thought of as a festive dish. If you have houseguests, they can help, chopping celery and peeling the hard-boiled eggs. You handle the potatoes and salad dressing. With even one more pair of hands, or with an opera on, it is easy -- and rewarding. It can be placed in a big bowl and people can help themselves. Everyone likes potato salad if it is homemade.
1-2 pounds red potatoes, cooked in skin.
Put them in a big bowl and chop them crudely.
Marinate when warm in vinaigrette.
Chop or slice and add hard-boiled eggs and celery.
Add salt, paprika, and cayenne. After an hour or more of refrigeration, add mayonnaise. Refrigerate about an hour longer at least.
Combine in a small bowl: 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBLS vinegar
Beat these ingredients til smooth. Add 2 TBSP olive oil.
Beat again. Add 3 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP vinegar
Peel and add to dressing one garlic clove. Place dressing in jar and keep cold until use.
Shake well before using.
You may add fresh herbs only if all the dressing will be consumed immediately. If you store it, the herbs get too strong.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker (1961), still the best single cookbook to own.
A More Complex (but no better) Potato Salad
2 lbs potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onions
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and sliced
1 cups Hellman's mayonnaise
2 TB Dijon mustard
5 hardboiled eggs
1/2 cup Italian parsley
Drop potatoes into cold water. Bring to boil and cook til tender, but still firm.
Drain and roughly slice them in mxing bowl. Sprinkle with vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Add onions, celery, cucumber, mayonnaise, and mustard. Toss.
Add eggs and parsley. Toss again. Cool to room temperature.
Add more mayonnaise if necessary.