Sunday, June 15, 2008

Buttermilk Dill Potato Salad

Potato salad. What do you think of? Homogeneous, yellow-ish, gloop? Grocery store tubs of mayonnaise with microscopic vegetables?

It's unfortunate if that's what you think of. I have a very distinct memory: a big gallon bag of leftover potato salad from the kitchen of a caterer in Wisconsin. Sure, she was just giving us some wedding leftovers, but that salad was the thing dreams are made of. There were big ole' chunks of red potatoes with the peels still on, large pieces of dill, and a creamy, obviously-more-than-just-mayo dressing. I long for that potato salad. Sometimes it keeps me up at night. Well, maybe not, but I have wanted it again for years.

With a little help from some other food bloggers, a little creativity, and some experimentation, here is what resulted.

Buttermilk Dill Potato Salad

  • 5 pounds small red potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 3 - 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 - 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 10 - 15 sprigs fresh dill
  • Salt & pepper to taste
For an interesting little twist on the texture, roast the potatoes instead of boil them. Put them in a roasting pan, coat with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 400 degrees about 15 - 20 minutes (this will greatly vary depending on how big the potatoes are and how small you've cut them: check regularly). Let them cool.

Place the roasted potatoes, chopped eggs, red pepper, celery, and peas in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Pinch the leaves off the dill sprigs, leaving rather large chunks, and stir into the dressing. If the dressing is too thick, dilute with a little more buttermilk (It should be a little thicker than salad dressing). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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