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Potato salad is one of those dishes that have to be at every summer gathering, or we just don’t feel satisfied. After all, what else pairs so well with everything from ham and cheese sandwiches to grilled hamburgers and hot dogs quite like it? But there seemingly are as many potato salad recipes to choose from as there are stars in the sky. So honestly, we let Martha Stewart do the choosing for us. Her favorite potato salad recipe is one her family has passed down for generations, and though it’s pretty simple and classic, there are a few Martha twists that ensure it comes our perfectly every time.
The first secret to Stewart’s potato salad is the type of potatoes she uses, and how she cooks them. Stewart uses red-skinned potatoes, like Red Bliss, to make the salad. She says they have a sweet flavor and creamy texture, and that texture can also help the potato salad from tasting dry. Then, instead of boiling the potatoes, she steams them in a steamer basket. This ensures they are tender throughout, and also makes it easier to remove the skins. Just peel them after they’ve cooled down enough to touch.
The second secret is that, before she mixes the potatoes with their dressing, she tosses them in vinegar and onions. The warm potatoes soak up the tangy flavor, which keeps the potato salad from tasting too heavy once it’s all mixed together.
Stewart also ensures that the creamy dressing has a healthy amoung of tang to it, too. Instead of using just mayonnaise (she prefers Hellman’s, which is known as Best Foods in the Western half of the country), she incorporates buttermilk and sliced cornichons. The result is a thinned-out dressing that gets bright salinity from the cornichons and a gentle tang from the buttermilk.
Stewart garnishes her potato salad with sliced hard-boiled eggs and a shower of minced fresh parsley. It’s the type of recipe that’s more than the sum of its parts. If you’ve been suffering through bland, dry bowls of potato salad for the past few summers, try making Martha Stewart’s favorite potato salad recipe instead.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
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