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…
- 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.
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.
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…