potato salad is one of those things I only ever make in the summer. I think of the fourth of july with my mother and brother at ah-nab-awen park with a spread blanket and a spread of food. we would buy glow in the dark necklaces and write our names with sparklers in the sky. my mother would bring sandwiches and potato salad. bottles of coca-cola. oh, and fireworks. oh, the fireworks.
potato salad was never something i made much until i worked for six months as garde manger for a corporate kitchen doing catering-style lunches for 100 people daily. garde manger, in the kitchen hierarchy, means 'keeper of the food' and generally cold preparations fell to this position. it's traditionally one of the entry level positions for new cooks, who have a chance to prove themselves here before getting moved to the hot line. one of my favorite aspects of the job was that i had to prepare two cold salad-style specials daily. that was it for direction, so i learned to be inventive. and i learned that potato salad could come in so many varieties.
my favorite thing in a mayo-based potato salad is a lot of lemon to cut the fat and starch. so, here we have a very strong lemon component. if you're less keen on lemon, reduce the lemon juice by half.
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup mayo
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 stalk celery, small diced
2 tbsp chives, minced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
2 tbsp cornichon, minced
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tbsp honey
fill a pot 2/3rd with salted water and bring to a boil. add potatoes and boil until a knife pierces them cleanly and they're soft. drain.
in a small bowl combine mayo, mustard, lemon juice and zest, vinegar and honey. adjust to taste. mix with potatoes, celery, cornichon, onion, and chives. put in refrigerator for at least one hour but best if it sits overnight.