OLD FASHIONED POTATO SALAD

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If you want a potato salad recipe that is healthy, light in calories, contains new and exciting ingredients, and could be featured in any magazine worth its salt in tofu, go no further. This is not the recipe for you! This is a recipe for good old fashioned potato salad that you might indulge in once a year, say, at your family’s annual picnic. (At least, I only let myself indulge in this potato salad on very rare occasions.) Because this is one of those comfort foods that once you take a bite, there is simply no going back (except for seconds of course!) This is the potato salad my children grew up with, and enjoyed every time it was prepared.

So I suppose by now you have glanced down at the list of ingredients. The first one is a beaut, ain’t it? But before you completely panic, let me tell you I use Best Foods “light” mayonnaise (Hellmann’s east of the Rockies) so it’s not quite as bad as it seems. From there on down it actually could be worse. For example, my son-in-law Marks mother made a similar potato salad but added cooked bacon and the bacon grease! So like I said, it actually could be worse. (BTW, crisp bacon in potato salad is amazing. I just can’t go that far however. I must draw the calorie line somewhere, and adding bacon is just too over the line for me!)

Once you’ve gotten over the shock of the 2 cups of mayonnaise, your reaction to the recipe should level off a bit. Of course there are potatoes in the recipe. Duh! (Not the best carb you could ask for.) But there’s celery, onion, and dill pickles. They’re veggies at least. And eggs are a great protein source. So all in all, not the worst thing you could eat. (That distinction belongs to any food deep fat fried according to the “how stuff works” web site.) In fact, potato salad isn’t even listed as one of the top 10 villainous foods. I was surprised however at some of the foods that made the list. For your viewing pleasure, I have included the other 9 culprits:

Bacon (no surprise), sodas (duh), artificial sweeteners (never have trusted them), shelf-stable condiments like ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, etc. (big surprise), swordfish and some tuna (high levels of mercury), processed meats (no surprise), microwave popcorn (what??), bagels (at least bagels made with only refined white flour), and dairy (big surprise). For more information about why these items are bad boys, visit science.howstuffworks.com. But back to this recipe…..

This is a spinoff of a recipe first published in Sunset Magazine back in the 70s. It is simple to prepare, delicious, and slightly piquant from the vinegar and dill pickles. So someday soon treat yourself, your family, and friends to a dish from a bygone era. And yes, I do enjoy some of the new and healthy ways to prepare potato salad. But when I want to embrace my roots, (or should I say – embrace my tubers) and fix a dish that I know everyone is going to enjoy, I boil up some potatoes, and slather them in one of the tastiest dressings I know how to prepare.

So have fun this summer, cook up a storm, and invite the gang over for a good old fashioned BBQ. For more wonderful summer recipes, search this site under BBQ & Picnic Recipes. Cheers!

  • 2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. dill weed
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 T. prepared mustard (not Dijon – the old fashioned yellow kind)
  • 2 T. vinegar (plain old fashioned vinegar – none of this white wine or fancy vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 medium potatoes, cooked (I like Yukon Gold)
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large dill pickles, finely chopped
  • 10 hard boiled eggs, peeled and grated
  • paprika, garnish, opt.

Combine mayonnaise, dill weed, sugar, mustard, vinegar, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a large salad bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, peel and cut into bowl on top of the dressing. Stir the potatoes into the dressing each time you add 2 or 3 potatoes. Add celery, onion, and pickles until well combined. Carefully stir in the grated eggs. Sprinkle lightly with paprika. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Can be prepared a day ahead.

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks