edit @ 17:12 & 17:56 EDT: broken links fixed…
But not just any potato salad (although I do love just about any potato salad – as long as it has been made with mayonnaise rather than a disgusting sweet salad dressing).
What I really love is potato salad with green beans, red onion and black olives. And radishes, if the radishes are good. In the past I have also put in some English cucumber. But T doesn’t really like the English cucumber so I now leave it out.
And how did I come up with our potato (etc. etc.) salad recipe? It is an amalgamation of many different potato salads. When I was a child, our potato salad was very simple. It consisted of new potatoes, miracle whip (which I liked then), chives from the garden, salt and pepper.
When I moved to Ontario, I was introduced to Niçoise salad and loved that there were blanched green beans and olives. Then not long afterward, I saw a recipe for German warm potato salad in an airline magazine (sorry I cannot remember which it was – Air Canada? CP?).
And one hot summer day many years ago, long before I had met T, my potato salad recipe emerged. I made it again and again. I thought it was so good that I entered it in a Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Best Potato Salad contest. (Even though I think it is the best potato salad in the world, I wasn’t really surprised that my salad didn’t win, what with the mayonnaise being somewhat diluted.)
The salad is always slightly different each time because, in spite of measurements being put on the recipe, I’ve never really measured. The only absolute must ingredients for our potato salad are new potatoes, green beans, mustard, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and oil cured Moroccan style black olives.
The other night, we served it with grilled chicken log stuffed with goat cheese. It was delicious! It really is the best potato salad, if I do say so myself.
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I just realized that I should try growing mustard! It shouldn’t be too difficult, considering that a tremendous amount of the world’s mustard is grown in Canada. Even Dijon mustard is made with Canadian mustard seeds! (I was amazed to learn that the last time we were in Dijon….)
I always try to include dill, chives and parsley in our potato salad. This year, our garden dill was eaten entirely by some creature(s) so I had to buy dill. Luckily, there is dill galore at all the vegetable stands. There are the usual little bunches. But there are also giant flowering stalks in big plastic buckets that have been set beside the baskets of small pickling cucumbers. (One of these days, I really should try making dill pickles… although why would I? The local Polish delis make and sell really great dill pickles!)
(click on image to see larger view)
Happily, the garden chives and parsley have not met with the same fate as the dill. Of course I adore chives, with their delicate onion flavour. And parsley too is such a wonderful herb. I love its simple but distinct flavour that never takes away from the dishes it enhances. One can use either flatleaf parsley or curly leaf parsley. I’ve heard people say that curly parsley has no flavour. I really don’t understand what they’re talking about… I don’t really notice any difference between the two. However, I do prefer curly leaf parsley only because I think it’s prettier.
It’s also quite easy to grow. If one is very clever, one can get it to overwinter and allow it to go to seed so that it will self-sow the next year. I’ve only managed to do that once though….
edit 22 August 2006: