The great potato salad divide


You may not know it, but potato salad is a divisive food. While some people prefer peeled chunks of potato cloaked in mayonnaise, others prefer halved (or whole) cooked baby new potatoes in vinaigrette.

When I make potato salad at home I usually go with a new-potato-and-vinaigrette style salad but when I’m at the deli, it’s always the mayo-based salad that ends up in my cart. I’m complicated that way.

How about you? What side of the potato salad divide do you fall on? If it’s a mayo-based potato salad you crave, try this homemade, smoke-infused mayo recipe from my personal collection:

Chipotle Mayo

2 egg yolks
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and white pepper
11/4 cups (300 mL) vegetable oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) each chopped fresh dill and minced shallot or onion
1/4 tsp (1 mL) minced garlic
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chipotle pepper sauce (approx.)

1. Place the egg yolks, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on high until pale yellow. With the beaters still on high, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the oil, adding only a few drops at a time.

2. Pause and scrape down the bowl. Beating on high, drizzle in the lemon juice. Blend well before slowly drizzling in the remaining oil in a steady stream while beating constantly. Blend until mixture is very thick. Gently stir in the dill, shallot and garlic. Stir in the hot pepper sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

3. Cover mayonnaise tightly and refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) mayonnaise.


16 Responses to The great potato salad divide

  1. Rosa says:

    I like both versions! It all depends on the day or occasion…



  2. Kathryn says:

    No question: the mayo version.

  3. Barb says:

    I am firmly on the fence here. The vinaigrette is a newer concept to me but I like them both.

  4. I’m sure it will come as no shock to you that I land firmly in the vinaigrette camp — given my mayonnaise aversion. My husband, however would be tempted to leave me for any woman who offered him potato salad with chipotle mayo.

    He must never know this blog exists.

  5. danamccauley says:

    He might want to come over for dinner, but I doubt he’d ever leave you, Charmian!

  6. Morgan says:

    I’m all for classic mayo potato salad. I can make a HUGE batch of it and it (sadly) doesn’t last long…I always want it at every meal! LOL

  7. Morgan says:

    I did make a German potato salad once (which was made with vinegar and warm) and it was AMAZING! So I prefer the mayo version but I’ll eat pretty much anything with potatoes!

  8. Put me squarely on both side of the fence – I can be in two places at once, I’m a mom.

  9. Diva says:

    Add me to those on both sides of the fence as well. All depends on my mood and who’s making the salad. If its mayo based … I prefer to be the one making it so that I can control the mayo and not end up with something goopy. I really don’t like mayo, but will eat it in potato salad, within reason.

    Potato salad is controversial in my family too … my father has strict “rules” about when it can be served … from Memorial Day to Labor Day only! Its a big family joke that we’ve been laughing about for decades. 🙂

    Love the chipotle mayo, Dana, and will def. try it!

  10. Usually classic, but vinaigrette on occasion…

  11. Although a warm German potato salad is yummy, too!

  12. cheryl says:

    I really have never understood the appeal of potato salad (I’m a coleslaw girl), but just this past weekend I tested a recipe for a potato salad made with full-cream plain yogurt and, don’t crucify me, it was delicious. It had all kinds of spices in it, too.

    But I have to say, your version with the homemade mayo looks really good. Actually really, REALLY good.

  13. Heather says:

    I too like both mayo style and vinegrette style…the grandmother of a family I nannied for made the BEST vinegrette style potato salad! I only wish I had her recipe for it…I got her recipe for some of my other favourites including her cucumber salad, but for some reason forgot the potato salad.

  14. Ciao Dana! One of the crazy things I’ve learned cooking for Italians is that you MUST peel their potatoes… they won’t even touch a cooked potato with a peel!
    I’m a vinaigrette girl myself, but my favorite potato salad is roasted whole potatoes, smushed and tossed in a basil and garlic dressing.
    Summer potato salads rock!

  15. Kevin says:

    I have been meaning to try making some potato salads. I really like adding chipotles in adobo to mayo and I bet it would be great in a potato salad.

  16. […] via The great potato salad divide « Dana McCauley’s food blog. […]

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