Potato Salad, Basic and Beyond

from: get cooking.
Yield: 4 servings

This is a very, very basic recipe. It tastes great in its pure form, and I've given you many ideas to spruce it up. The best kind of potatoes for this are the waxy varieties (Yukon, Finn, creamers). A combination of colors will taste great and is guaranteed to be beautiful. You can even use red, white, and blue potatoes for a fourth of July picnic. Peeling is easiest after the potatoes are cooked. Even easier is not peeling, which adds flavor, color, and nutrients. This needs time to chill completely, so you might want to make it a day ahead.

Salt for the potato-cooking water
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (about 2-inch-diameter), scrubbed
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt (possibly more)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced red onion, minced (about 1/4 of a medium onion)
  1. Put up a medium-sized pot of cold water to boil over high heat and add a pinch [a teaspoon? A few teaspoons?] of salt. Place a colander in the sink. When the water boils, turn the heat down to low, add the unpeeled potatoes, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until very tender (i.e., easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife–you don't want the potatoes to be at all crunchy). Drain them in the colander, and then dry them by patting them with paper towels or a clean, dry dish towel.
  2. While the potatoes are simmering, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, salt and pepper in a medium-large bowl. Add the onion, and mix well.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, you can peel and discard the skins (use your fingers or a sharp knife)–or leave the skins on. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks, and transfer to the bowl with the other ingredients. Toss gently until everything is well combined, then cover the bowl tightly and chill until cold. If the potatoes soak up too much of the dressing, add a tablespoon more each of the mayonnaise and the yogurt.
  4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.
Get Creative (This is the "beyond" part)

Add any of the following, when tossing together the potatoes and the dressing:
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • Half a small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Half a small green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely grated
  • Minced bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles, or pickle relish (about 1/4 cup)
  • A few sliced or diced radishes
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (yellow, Dijon or your favorite kind)
  • A handful of toasted cashews, almonds, or sesame seeds
  • Sprouts (any kind) for heaping on top
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