Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Garden Potato Salad

on April 20, 2013

This recipe comes from my mom’s mom (Grandma Elaine) and it’s been a family tradition my whole life. It is the potato salad to which I compare all other potato salads. I take it to parties and my friends refer to it as THE potato salad. So for the first time ever, here is the recipe, written (or typed) down.

Base Potato Salad– for those who don’t like their veggies (like my dad)

5 lbs of russet or yukon gold potatoes (my parents like russet and i like the yukon gold)

6 hard boiled eggs, finely diced

1 1/2 cups celery, diced

1/2 – 1 whole onion, diced or minced (I HATE big pieces of onion in my salad so I run it through the food processor to make it mush. Then I have the flavor but no big pieces. My mom loves big pieces, so it’s strictly personal preference.)

This next list of ingredients is by weight. I eyeball the measurements so I couldn’t tell you how many cups. I decided it was easiest to put the bowl on a kitchen scale and get the weight as I went along.

9 ounces of Miracle Whip (NOT Mayonnaise! Trust me on this. By the time you get it all mixed up you would never know it was Miracle Whip but the flavor of mayo is just not quite right.)

5 ounces sweet pickle relish

1 1/2 ounces yellow mustard

1 TB kosher salt

2 tsp Salad Herbs (recipe to follow)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

The first thing to do is cook the potatoes. I leave them skin on and whole, put them in a pot of water and boil until fork tender. Let them cook then skin them. Leave them whole and then use a potato masher to mash each potato ONE time. This will give a combination of very small pieces and larger pieces which a consistency similar to very chunky mashed potatoes. It allows the potatoes to soak up the Miracle Whip, mustard and pickle relish without being soupy. I really, really hate soupy potato salad.


This picture shows me in the process of mashing the taters. If there are any really big pieces, I break them up with my fingers to something resembling bite sized. Once this is done, add the egg, onion, celery, miracle whip, mustard, pickle relish, salt, salad herbs and pepper. Mix thoroughly. This what we call our “base” potato salad. You can stop right here and it’s a very good, very basic potato salad. Or you can add some extra veggies to kick it up.

2 cups cucumber, diced

2 cups bell pepper, diced

2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced

Mix all that in and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

A word on veggies… If you’re making this during the summer, take the time to get stuff at the farmer’s market. There’s nothing like a good tomato to make this out of the world. During the other seasons I used English Cucumbers (the ones that come wrapped in plastic) for a couple of reasons. 1. the seeds are smaller and 2. the flavor is closer to what you get from a fresh garden grown cuke. I use NatureSweet Cherub tomatoes because again, the flavor is closer to what you get during the summer from your own garden. 99% of store bought tomatoes are horrible and I refuse to use them. That said, since it’s only April I used an english cucumber and cherub tomatoes.


This is what it looks like finished. It sticks together kind of like mashed potatoes but it’s not that smooth. If anyone tries to make this, I’d really be interested to know what you think.

Finally, here’s the recipe for the Salad Herbs. This was a blend that was originally made by McCormick. We used it for years as the “secret ingredient” to finish this off. Then one day we couldn’t find it. McCormick had stopped making it. Woe and ruin! However, on a whim I emailed the company and surprisingly, they emailed me back with the recipe so that we could make it ourselves. I will always admire McCormick for being will to share that with our family.

Recipe for Salad Herbs

2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried spearmint

Combine all ingredients. Mix gently. Store in an airtight container.

This mix gives the salad an herby touch that catches you a bit by surprise but not in a bad way. It gives a depth of flavor you usually don’t expect from a potato salad and high lights the sweetness of the extra veggies. Now that


One response to “Garden Potato Salad

  1. Mel says:

    I like the gold, and when I make it I seed my cucumbers and tomatoes. I also add a few extra eggs because I like it eggy. Oh and I also hate big onion pieces so I use my food processor.

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