Classic Potato Salad

22 Jun

When buying potatoes to use in potato salad, it's important to select a variety that keeps its shape when cooked.  Starch content is the defining factor in where to use potato.

Classic Potato Salad is just one of two potato salads The Hungry Wife will be featuring.  We’ll start with the Classic Potato Salad and then get a little more daring.  This recipe is simple and delicious, with traditional ingredients sure to be loved by all.

When looking at potatoes to use for Classic Potato Salad, it’s important to select a variety  that keeps its shape when cooked.  Starch content is the defining factor in texture and usage.  Russet or Idaho are the highest in starch and are best for baked potatoes, pureed soups, French Fries, and potato pancakes.  Waxy, such as fingerling, most red varieties, and some of the round whites, are lower in starch and hold together when cooked, an asset for salads, gratins, and stews and for roasting and boiling.

Popular yellow-fleshed varieties of potatoes, like Yukon Gold and Yellow Finn, are medium starchy and versatile enough for all purposes.  The Potato Harvest Cookbook gives two simple guidelines for determining a spud’s starch content.

  1. Cut the potato in half; if the blade is filmy or has a foamy residue, or if the spud sticks to the knife, its starch content is high.
  2. If you’re a science buff, make a brine of 11 parts water to 1 part salt.  Drop in the potato.  A high-starch potato is denser and will sink; low-starch types will float.

Boiling potato in their skins prevents them from absorbing too much water during cooking and ensures firm potato for salads.


11 Responses to “Classic Potato Salad”

  1. Darcie Muwwakkil January 1, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    For some time I have been serving a just-as-delicious recipe. I am anxious to try your spin on this old recipe.

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