June 08, 2010

Potato Salad


The house was quiet. The sun was shining. The baby reds, quartered, were boiling (only about six minutes—really). The celery and onion diced. The parsley and capers chopped. The shallot minced. The pickle juice measured. The mayonnaise and dijon mustard glopped. The olive oil glugged. The salt and pepper ready for to taste.

It's good.

Oh, I hope he likes it.

The dough was rising. No pasta. Pizza using leftover sauce, globs of mozzarella, diced onion and black olives.

And potato salad.

Oh, I hope he likes it.

Nerves, but good nerves.


"Whatcha got?" I asked.

"Peanuts." He said

I transferred the nuts into a plastic container while Roberto cleaned up for dinner.

"I made potato salad and I thought we'd have pizza." I said.

"Sounds good." He said.

"Taste it." I said.

Roberto took a bite.

"Is it okay?" I asked with hesitation.

"It's good." He said with enthusiasm.


"My mother wants you to make potato salad for Monday." He said.

Nerves, but good nerves.

"Which potatoes should I use? Should I use mayo? Leave out the capers?..." I asked.

"Just like this." He said.

"Really? Leave the skin on?..." I asked

"Just a small bowl. Just like this." He said.

"Okay." I said.


Monday arrived. I followed Roberto across the street. A small bowl of freshly made potato salad covered with plastic wrap in hand.

Nerves, but good nerves.


  1. this potatoes salad looks so good.
    the only one i make is really simple: shallots and olive oil. i wanna make yours: i'll let you know;)

  2. BTW, love your new look and super up-close pictures, with a vintage je-ne-sais-quoi :)

  3. OMG a carb lover's dream--potatoes and pizza. Yum!

  4. It looks absolutely delicious and the colour of those potatoes! What on earth are the nerves for? Roberto and his folks couldn't help but love it. I want that tablecloth.

  5. this is completely my kind of potato salad. nerves? you got great nerves.

  6. I hope she liked the salad...it looks delicious.

  7. Now why haven't I ever added capers to my potato salad? Perfect idea. Next time.

  8. So, SO beautiful! Love those colorful taters and that you added CAPERS!! How perfect. And the tablecloth is splendid - so retro and cheery. :-)

  9. Now that's my kinda salad. Gutsy but delicious. It's good to feel nervous because it shows how much you care about cooking for others but there is no greater compliment I think than when someone tells you not to change a thing. Your pictures are fantastic and I never get tired of looking at them.

  10. I've never tasted this type of potato. Really like the red color of the skin.
    I always love a good potato salad and from the look of it, yours must have been delicious!

  11. So they liked it?? I just made potato salad two weeks ago for the first time. I love the combination of the capers, onions and pickle juice with the creamy mayo and potatos. YUM.

  12. Elisabelle - I should simplify and try yours!

    Amelia - Thank you

    Michele - We love our carbs. Can't go a day without them.

    Kath - I'm always questioning my competence in the kitchen.

    Nancy - I'm gaining more confidence. It's getting easier.

    M. - I think she did. She is very particular, but in a good way.

    Denise - I don't know where the capers idea came from. But it was a nice addition and one I will be repeating.

    Tart - The tablecloth is Ikea from years and years ago. Glad I held onto it. It brightens the kitchen on gray days.

    Vanessa - Exactly. I don't want to ever lose the nerves, but sometimes they can be paralyzing.

    magda - I love red potatoes. Our favorite way to make them, salt/pepper/extra virgin olive oil and thrown under the broiler. They crisp on the outside and go all creamy good on the inside.

    Elizabeth - It's the season for potato salads. They seemed to like it. I didn't hear anything to the contrary. Usually when something isn't right, they'll let you know.

  13. If I liked potatoes, I'd like your salad--not overly soggy with mayo (as I'm not much of a fan of that either!) and with lots of flavor and texture.

    I do love your vintage-y tablecloth and dishes though! :-)

  14. I never make potato salad because it never turns out looking quite right to me. Yours, however, looks downright elegant and lovely. Excellent work taking an old standby and making it such a treat. Thanks for the recipe and for your sweet comments on my blog!

  15. Elizabeth - It's definitely minimalist when it comes to mayo. I always cut it with olive oil. I do this with tuna salad as well. I do love the vintage pyrex...always concerned that I'm going to end up breaking it. I can be all thumbs at time.

    redmenace - I used to be so recipe dependent. Roberto taught me to just do it. No recipes required. It helped to free up my brain. So far, so good. But I know what you mean about potato salad never turning out quite right. I have more failures than successes. I really think it comes down to salt. If I can get it just right when I'm boiling, than everything else falls into place. :)

  16. I've never thought about using pickle juice, what a great idea! Looks soooo good!


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