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Recipe: My Mother’s Potato Salad

Recently, when I featured Heinz Salad Cream in a ‘Foodstuffs’ post, I promised that I would share two family recipes that always use this product. The first of these is for a potato salad that I first learned from my mother and have been making myself for many, many years. It is instant ‘comfort food’ for me and couldn’t be simpler to prepare…

The Ingredients

  • 3 cups (or so) of cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 large Carrot
  • 2 Scallions
  • Parsley sprigs
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of ground Black Pepper
  • Heinz Salad Cream (you will need about a half a cup)

A few words about the mashed potatoes… First, most potato salad recipes call for the ‘waxy’ sort but, while these are appropriate where the potatoes are cubed or sliced, for this type of salad the starchy or ‘floury’ type are better. After they are boiled, drain them and then cover them with a clean dishcloth in the saucepan so that the steam is absorbed and they get nicely dried. Mash them while they are still warm and do not over do it. You don’t want ‘whipped’ potatoes; just mash them well with a potato masher until no hard bits remain.

The Method

First, grate the carrot, finely slice the scallions and chop enough parsley so you have about 3 tablespoons or so. Next, put the potato, carrot, scallion and parsley into a large bowl along with the salt and pepper and mix everything well.

Now start adding the Salad Cream. In the ingredient list, I was purposely vague about the precise amount you need because this will depend upon the exact amount of potato and your personal taste. I have always made this salad simply by adding the cream until it ‘looks right’ and the best guideline I can give you is to start with about a third of a cup and add enough, bit by bit, so that it reaches the basic consistency of creamed potatoes. Don’t overdo this, and make sure you stop before the salad starts to become too slick or greasy. Finally, put the salad in the ‘fridge to chill nicely and let the flavors blend together.

The Service

To serve the salad, turn it out into a serving bowl and smooth into an attractive mound. Score the surface evenly with the tines of a fork and, if you like, sprinkle over some paprika for color and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

In my house, when I was growing up, we mostly had this with cold meat, my mother’s Cole slaw and deviled eggs. My favorite is to have it along side cold fried chicken…

Anyway… I hope you like this salad as much as I do. If you are very partial to the tangier sorts of potato salad you might find this a little tame but the recipe is so simple that you can easily jazz it up with other additions such as herbed vinegar, a bit of mustard, or even a little chili. If you do try this, though, I would love to hear your take on it…


19 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is quite a different potato salad from the one my own mother used to make with cubed potatoes. I love that it has carrots in it and the Heinz Salad Cream is new to me too. Looks wonderful.

    June 1, 2012
    • The salad cream is essential to get the ‘homey’ comfort food taste I remember from my childhood. I have made it with regular mayonnaise but it isn’t quite the same…

      June 1, 2012
  2. I never had potato salad made from mashed potatoes but I bet it is terrific.

    June 1, 2012
    • I was probably 11 or 12 before I saw potato salad that was *not* made with mashed potatoes and it just seems wrong! I like all sorts of varieties now though 🙂

      June 1, 2012
  3. I agree. This is unlike any potato salad I have ever seen. I’m going to have to try it. Although I’ve never seen the salad cream where I live. Can you recommend a substitute?

    June 1, 2012
  4. I have made it with regular mayonnaise but it really isn’t the same… the Heinz product has a unique taste. My sister once recommended adding a bit of mustard to mayonnaise in order to approximate the flavour. I haven’t tried that though…

    June 1, 2012
  5. Beautiful and mom’s recipe at that! Perfect for this summer. Thanks for visiting my site! Cheers! Jennifer

    June 1, 2012
  6. Looks and sounds really good!

    June 1, 2012
  7. Well…. I grew up with it and it is a comfort food for me. It may turn out to be something of an acquired taste for those used to the tangier sorts of potato salad but I hope people will try it and tell me how they like it…

    June 1, 2012
  8. I have never heard of a product called salad cream. Is it mayonnaise based or sour cream based? It looks delightful with the carrots adding a splash of color!

    June 1, 2012
  9. It’s more like a mayonnaise but it is much tangier… think of a mayonnaise with added lemon juice and mustard.

    June 1, 2012
  10. I know I would like this because it reminds me of my Grandmother’s fish cake recipe. Just add flakes white fish, form into patties and fry up! Or leave out the fish and have potato salad… cool!

    June 1, 2012
  11. I like something similar with smoked fish!

    June 1, 2012
  12. Heinz salad cream is one of my favorite salad dressings, but i’ve never ever used it with mashed potato. Your recipe is worth trying.

    June 1, 2012
  13. Please let me know how you like it

    June 1, 2012
  14. Oh this sounds so different and good! Thank you for stopping by!

    June 1, 2012
  15. My mum’s potato salad was quite different but I like yours too… am always partial to mashed potatoes 🙂

    June 3, 2012

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