Sunday, October 23, 2011

Potato Salad

Potato salad seems to be a dish of some controversy. I don't think it needs to be, it's just that people seem to have very strong opinions about it. Like whether the mayonnaise needs to be home-made. Or what herbs to include or exclude. Whether there should be raw onion or shallots or spring onions. If you should include eggs. The potato salad. It's a minefield.

I don't often eat potato salad. It wasn't something that featured a whole lot in my childhood and it's featured even less since then. It reminds me of summer Sunday lunches where everything is cold and eaten off paper plates in the garden, and you spend half your time trying to a) sit elegantly on the grass without tipping your plate sideways and b) warding off the dog who's doing his damnedest to push you over. I can't really think of a good reason why potato salad is such a non-event in my life though. It's super easy to make, requires few pots and pans and is decidedly satisfying in that way that dishes made solely of carbohydrates always are.


This particular salad occurred to me last week when I bought a bag of baby potatoes and then promptly wondered what to do with them. They've been skulking in the back of my cupboard every since, waiting for me to remember to buy mayonnaise. (Sorry but life is short and my skills at this particular moment do not stretch that far...) I like my potato salad still slightly warm so that the mayonnaise is almost melting into the potatoes. I also like it with a lot of parsley (flat-leafed), some shallot, finely chopped and some salt and pepper. I made enough today so there would be left-overs for lunch tomorrow. I kept trying to remind myself of that as I stole more from the pan. I also like to add a soft boiled egg. It just adds an extra something that makes this whole meal seem slightly decadent. 

  
There is no actual recipe for this. Boil enough potatoes for whomever you are feeding. I like baby potatoes and normally do about 4-5 per person, dependent on potato size. I leave the skin on. Once they're cooked through, drain and replace on the heat for 30 seconds just to dry them ever so slightly. Then stir in about 2 tablespoons of mayo, again you'll need more for more people. Add to that some chopped parsley, shallot and salt and pepper. Serve whilst still warm with an egg if you're so inclined.

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