Wednesday, August 24, 2011
A Dilly of a Potato Salad
There’s really nothing terribly remarkable about this potato salad, pretty standard fare. Except for the fact that it is now my own, perfected after years of experimenting and tinkering and fine tuning. And except for the fact that most of the ingredients come from, if not my own garden, my neighbor’s down the road. The satisfaction factor goes way up when your own produce stars in your food. My own dill, my own onions, and my neighbor’s spuds and eggs. Makes for one fine (and dilly of a) potato salad.
I’ve had so much dill this summer that I took to bringing flowering stalks of it and putting it in the kitchen window. What a refreshing fragrance! And so pretty, too. Plus cutting the flowers saved me from seeing those flowers spreading their seed all over the garden. And although dried dill weed also works in this salad, there’s nothing like fresh.
It’s the pureeing of the onion that really makes this salad, though. If you’re not a big dill fan, the dressing works well without it; you may have to add more seasoning, though. (And definitely some chopped Italian parsley.) Enough onion juice helps to thin the mayo and sour cream a little and the onions are so fine, you’re never really biting into raw onion, but the flavor is definitely there.
The onion secret is one I learned from my mom. She was a fan of grating a small amount of onion into things -- casseroles, soups, salads. (“They won’t taste the onion, honey. They’ll just know it tastes good.”) My 12 year-old self crying at the box grater wasn’t so sure!
Toes’* Dilled Potato Salad
3 pounds red potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 small white onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the potatoes in a large pot covered with water. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt, lower the heat to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, until a fork pierces about a third of the way into the potato. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then place the colander back over the now dry pot. Cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let steam for about 15 to 20 minutes. (I learned this tip from Ina Garten.)
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a food processor, place the onion, cut up into manageable pieces and nearly make a puree out of it. Add the mayo and sour cream and the dill and whirl until blended.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut up into about ¾ inch pieces. Add the dressing, eggs and celery and gently mix together. Taste and add as much salt and freshly ground pepper as you like.
Chill for several hours before serving.
* I guess I should explain the “Toes” thing – it’s just a family nickname. Growing up I was always called Rosie. And somehow Rosie-Posie morphed into Rose-Toes, eventually dropping the Rose half. I thought about my family nickname for my blog, but somehow “toes” and “food” together just didn’t make it.