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Basic Potato Salad

Serves 8 Servings


  • 3 pound waxy potatoes (such as yukon gold or new), scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 4 cup scallions, white part minced, green part thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup light mayonnaise


Baking Directions:

Set a steamer basket in a Dutch oven (or large pot with a lid), and add enough salted water to come just below basket; bring to a boil.

Place potatoes in basket, cover pot, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

Steam potatoes, gently tossing occasionally, until tender, 15 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine vinegar, scallion whites, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and teaspoon pepper.

Add hot potatoes to vinegar mixture; toss to combine.

Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour.

Add mayonnaise and scallion greens to cooled potatoes; mix gently to combine.

Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.


For a potato salad that doesn't end up mushy, use waxy potatoes, which keep their shape better than starchy baking potatoes.

For even cooking, make sure the potatoes are cut into uniform pieces.

For a hint of sweetness, add a pinch of sugar to the vinegar mixture.

For extra tang, sub in sour cream for some of the mayonnaise.

For warm-weather picnics, make a no-mayo version: replace the mayo in my basic recipe with 1/2 cup olive oil whisked with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.

For balanced flavor, keep your mix-ins simple (but still be creative).

I like celery and hard-cooked egg.

Take it easy on salty and acidic ingredients (combining, say, pickles, capers, and olives would be too much).

Mix-and-Match Mix-Ins (add after salad cools)Sliced celeryDiced red onionSweet pickle relishChopped picklesSlivered green olivesCapersChopped herbsChopped hard-cooked eggsCrumbled bacon