Chunky Country Potato Salad (2 versions plus lots of add-in ideas)

Chunky country potato salad is chock full of vegetables, lasts for days and is highly customizable.

Below I offer two versions, a traditional creamy salad, and a room-temperature “German” version that is vinegar and oil-based, perfect for portability — think picnic or buffet table. Beyond the base recipes, I’ve also included many add-in ideas. Once you’ve made the base recipe, you can divide it parts and create different versions using the add-ins.

While I’ve been making these potato salads for years, I’m particularly excited about making them now. We planted six rows of potatoes in our garden, and I thought I’d harvest them all at once. However, after harvesting one row there were enough potatoes to eat for three weeks! I’ve never grown potatoes before, and they are all misshaped and goofy looking, but who cares? They taste the same.

Arliano update (Aggiornamento Arliano):

Besides the potatoes, other garden developments include watermelon and butternut squash that seem to double in size every other day. We’ve got some nice clusters of tomatoes forming but they are on the small side, so I hope they continue to grow before ripening. Our three rows of corn are sprouting ears which I’m happy about because fresh sweet corn isn’t eaten much in Italy and what you can find in grocery stores is expensive. Most of the corn here is used to feed animals or for drying for polenta.

The other day I went to cut a stargazer lily to bring into the house but there was the cutest little bee sleeping inside of it, so I left it alone. And, instead of a US-style Fourth of July, we were treated to hundreds of fireflies. These are the joyous things about living in the country.

We’ve got deliveries coming at least every other day, including life-necessity appliances like a washing machine, a dryer, and an oven. (We’re still waiting to hear back from the plumber for installation, but that’s another story… Waiting seems to be the same no matter which country you live in.) We also had a couch that unexpectantly delivered in many parts and in many packages and boxes that needed assembly.  All these deliveries add up to A LOT of carboard, plastic and styrofoam leaving us feeling guilty about the environment. Thankfully Italy has at least five recycling categories.  

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Chunky Country Potato Salad

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

    See below for traditional creamy potato salad, portable room temperature potato salad as well as lots of optional add-in ideas for either version

    Base recipe for traditional creamy potato salad

  • 3 pounds (48 ounces) waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold (avoid starchy potatoes such as Russet, which don’t hold their shape well when boiled)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mustard (any type)
  • 2 – 4 stalks of celery, chopped to bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly or diced small
  • A large handful of green beans, any type
  • 2 – 3 carrots, diced into bite-sized pieces or grated
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt), divided, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ___________________________

    Base recipe for room temperature potato salad

  • 2 pounds (32 ounces) waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold (avoid starchy potatoes such as Russet, which don’t hold their shape well when boiled)
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mustard (any type)
  • 2 – 4 stalks of celery, chopped to bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly or diced small
  • 2 – 3 carrots, diced into bite-sized pieces or grated
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt), divided, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ___________________________

    Optional add-in ideas for either version, above

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • 6 – 10 strips of crispy bacon (this is traditional for the “German” room temperature potato salad
  • 1/2 cup green or black pitted olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickled okra
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, or cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Directions

    Traditional creamy

  1. Thoroughly scrub the potatoes. Leaving the skins on, dice the potatoes into about 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces
  2. Boil the potatoes in a 4-quart pot, or larger, with plenty of water and with 1 tablespoon of salt for approximately 15 minutes. The potatoes are done when the tip of a knife can easily pierce through a potato. Start checking for doneness at about 12 minutes. In the last four minutes of boiling, add the green beans to the pot. Drain the water from the potatoes and green beans let them cool completely. To maintain the vibrant color of the green beans, place them in ice cold water after draining
  3. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the mayonnaise and mustard, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the chopped or grated carrots, sliced or diced onions, and celery to the bowl and mix well
  5. Add any other items from the list of the optional add-in ingredients to the bowl and mix well
  6. Add the completely cooled potatoes and chopped green beans to the bowl and mix well. Depending on how many, and what type of add-ins you chose, you may need to add a little extra mayonnaise and/or mustard to reach the level of creaminess you want. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve
  7. ___________________________

    Room temperature version

  8. Thoroughly scrub the potatoes. Leaving the skins on, dice the potatoes into about 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces
  9. Boil the potatoes in a 4-quart pot, or larger, with plenty of water and with 1 tablespoon of salt for approximately 15 minutes. The potatoes are done when the tip of a knife can easily pierce through a potato. Start checking for doneness at about 12 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes and let them cool completely
  10. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk the vinegar, olive oil and mustard, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper.
  11. Add the chopped or grated carrots, sliced or diced onions and celery to the bowl and mix well
  12. Add any other items from the list of the optional add-in ingredients to the bowl and mix well
  13. Add the completely cooled potatoes to the bowl and mix well. Depending on how many, and what type of add-ins you chose, you may need to add a little extra vinegar and oil and/or mustard. NOTE: In other recipes I add the oil and vinegar to the hot potatoes so that they absorb them. You can do that if you prefer. However, I find that I need to then add the same amount once the salad is at room temperature to make it a cohesive salad. That would be double the vinegar and oil, so, instead, I wait until the potatoes are cool

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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