My Grown-Up Potato Salad

When I was a kid, there were only two foods I absolutely refused to eat.  Canadian bacon on pizza and potato salad.  Growing up the thought of either of those, would make my skin crawl. My mom used to say, “but Amy you love potatoes, eggs, and mayo.  Why wouldn’t you like it in potato salad?”  Fast forward 10 years.  Even though I still can’t manage to eat a slice of Hawaiian pizza, potato salad and I have come to an agreement.  I just need a grown-up version.

Last year I realized I do like all the ingredients in potato salad–and the flavors are pretty fantastic too.  In all of my childhood potato salads, I only remember how everything goes into the bowl looking like one thing, and comes out a completely different concoction. Anyone remember chemistry class and the difference between mixtures and compounds?  I like my potato salad as a mixture.  All elements fully distinguishable.  As long as it doesn’t resemble the yellow, uni-flavored, mush in a plastic container from the deli, we get along just fine.

Here’s the grown-up potato salad recipe I’ve made since then.  I substitute scallions (including tops) for the chopped onion and cucumber for the celery.  It means the dressing thins a bit faster than your standard, but also has a better crunch.  There’s still a few more weeks left of summertime weather; it’s not too late to throw some brats on the grill and have one last cookout.

My Grown-Up Potato Salad 


2-3 pounds of young potatoes, scrubbed and left unpeeled
1 C. scallions with tops, roughly chopped
2 C. English-style salad cucumber (the long skinny ones at the farmers’ market), chopped into 3/4″ chunks
1 C. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tsp. lemon juice
5 Hard-Boiled Eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cover potatoes in a large pot with cold water (1-2″ above potatoes). Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 10 minutes. A fork should easily go into the center of the potato, but still be firm and not mushy. Drain and allow to cool until easy to handle.
2. Cut potatoes into quarters (about 1 1/2″ chunks) and toss in a large bowl. Add scallion and cucumber and mix.
3. In a separate bowl, combine mayo, mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Pour dressing over vegetables and gently fold in until evenly coated. Add eggs and gently fold 1-2 more times. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Note: The recipe says gently fold for a reason. The more stirring, the more mushy it gets. Grown-ups do not like mushy. At least this grown up doesn’t.

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