One of the first years I sowed seeds in the garden, I decided to plant dill. It was necessary, I thought, in order to put up cucumbers as pickles. And indeed, dill is an important ingredient for pickle-making. What I hadn't known at the time, was that from then on, those cosmic, tangy weeds would find a way to keep coming up everywhere they could. In truth, I don't mind too much - I left off worrying about a tidy garden long ago. So, yes, I've got dill weed coming up in the poppies and carrots; I thin them out only to discover another one has popped up among the pumpkins. To the point, when whipping together a potato salad for a summer time meal, dill favors heavily into the flavor.
I used to buy potato salad in the plastic tub at the grocer. I thought potato salad was too time-consuming and laborious. I didn't really care much for it anyway. But my Elaina boasts potato salad as one of her favorite foods. She loves it! And since we are a household with food allergies, I am cautious about products with rogue ingredients which lurk inside the processed food options.
So, in looking for an easy, healthier alternative to the tub of grub at the store - we came up with this delightful option which is so colorful and tasty. It plays on many ingredients from the backyard - eggs from the coop, potatoes dug from the garden, and, of course, dill pickles. Because Elaina loves potato salad, she's become pretty adept at making it herself. And to be honest, after switching to homemade rather than store bought, I am starting to love this tangy, fresh side too. Pair it with something from the grill for a perfect summer dinner or BBQ. Here's the basic run down:
HOW TO MAKE POTATO SALAD
Boil the potatoes. After boiling the potatoes for 20 minutes, puncture with a fork to make sure they’re done. If you overcook the potatoes, they will make your salad mushy... think al dente noodles... drain the potatoes and Place the potatoes in the fridge. This will help stop the cooking process to keep them from becoming a pile of mush. Also, hot potatoes will melt the mayonnaise and separate the oils if you mix them together too quickly. And nobody wants hot melted potato salad!
Boil the eggs. To ensure the eggs are hard-boiled cook them for 12-14 minutes. Place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process, and when they are cool enough to touch, peel off the shells and dice them.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. In a large bowl combine the celery, red onion, radishes, mayonnaise and dill.
Mix in potatoes and eggs. Once the potatoes and eggs have cooled, add them to your mayonnaise mixture and combine until fully coated.
Salt and pepper to taste, and top with a bit of fresh dill!
HOSTESS TIP: leave a few hard-boiled eggs halved to garnish your salad and place in a cute bowl. This enameled bowl from Golden Rabbit Enamelware is perfect.
Easy Summer Potato Salad
PREP TIME: 30 mins COOK TIME: 45 mins TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 15 mins
SERVINGS: 10 servings
6-7 red or white new potatoes
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 small radishes, diced (if you dislike radishes, by all means, leave them out)
4-5 dill pickles, diced (or to taste)
1 cup mayo or sour cream
1 tbsp fresh dill weed, minced
1 tbsp pickle juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Fill a large pot with water. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Salt the water, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until a fork inserts easily with a little resistance.
Fill another pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low (so that there's no bubbles breaking the surface) and use a skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs. Cook the eggs for 12 – 14 minutes, then place in an ice water bath to immediately stop their cooking.
Once the potatoes have finished cooking, drain the water. Fill the pot with cold water to cool the potatoes down, then drain again.
Place both the eggs and potatoes in the refrigerator to cool completely.
While your potatoes and eggs are cooling, prepare the celery, radishes pickles,red onion and dill. Add the ingredients to a large bowl along with the mayonnaise or sour cream, pickle and lemon juice.
Once your potatoes and eggs are fully cooled, peel the eggs and cube both the potatoes and eggs into 1-inch sized pieces. Add to your mixing bowl with the mayonnaise and vegetables. Toss gently until well combined.
Serve the potato salad immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.