The first heat wave of the summer has arrived my friends, and it is a scorcher. It's the kind of weather that makes me thankful for central air conditioning, and for the big trees that keep our backyard shady and cool.
At my house, that first blast of summer heat means it's time to make room in the fridge for my three summertime staples - a big pitcher of iced tea, a container full of ice-cold watermelon chunks. and a ridiculously large batch of potato salad.
Potato salad is literally THE summertime food, as far as I'm concerned. Every bowl I make is full of memories of picnics with friends and backyard barbecues, and all of the best eats that summer has to offer.
Team Mayo or Team Oil-and-Vinegar? You Don't Have to Choose!
I'm fairly equal-opportunity when it comes to my potato salad.
Sometimes I'm in the mood for a classic creamy salad with a mayo-based dressing, and sometimes I'm in the mood for a bright and fresh salad with an oil-and-vinegar dressing.
(Though I firmly believe that for picnics and other outdoor meals, oil-and-vinegar is a must because it won't spoil in the heat.)
But then there are the days when I can't make up my mind, which is when this yogurt dressing with loads of fresh chives is the perfect compromise. It's creamy and tangy and full of chive flavour, just like my favourite sour cream and onion potato chips.
Choosing the Right Potatoes for Potato Salad
Rule of thumb for potato salad is to choose a lower-starch variety that holds its shape even once cooked. In other words, save the russets another day, and stick to waxier boiling potatoes.
Personally, I really like making this salad with fingerling potatoes, because their buttery sweetness contrasts so perfectly with the tangy yogurt dressing. My local market tends to carry larger-sized fingerlings, so I like to slice them up into bite-sized pieces so there's plenty of surface area to soak up the dressing. However, if you can find the itty-bitty fingerlings, they can be left whole.
Other options that work well in this recipe are bite-sized new potatoes (aka creamer potatoes) or even full-sized Yukon Gold potatoes cut into half-inch chunks.
Whatever you do, leave the skins on your potatoes. Not only does that preserve all the nutrients that live in the skin, it also preserves all the extra flavour!
Variations on This Recipe
This potato salad is absolutely delicious just as it is, but if you're looking to change it up, here are a few options:
- Healthy Loaded Baked Potato Salad: Add ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup crispy bacon bits to the salad once it's cooled to room temperature.
- Curried Yogurt Potato Salad: Omit the chives, and add 1 tbsp curry powder to the dressing. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.
- Dill Pickle Potato Salad: Omit the chives, and add ½ cup chopped fresh dill and ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles. For an extra boost of pickle flavour, substitute pickle brine for the apple cider vinegar.
- Creamy Potato Salad with Ham: This one barely counts as a variation, but you can turn this salad into a complete main dish by adding 1 cup diced ham.
More Creative Potato Salad Recipes
Need a few more ways to shake the boring potato salad blues? I got you covered with six delicious recipes from me and some of my favourite bloggers.
- Grilled Potato Salad from Crumb
- Mustard-Tarragon Potato Salad from Crumb
- Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad from My Kitchen Love
- Potato Salad with Peas and Mint from It's Not Complicated Recipes
- Estonian Beet and Potato Salad from Panning the Globe
- Southwest Potato Salad from Delicious on a Dime
A creamy yogurt and chive dressing gives this potato salad loads of flavour without all the gloopy heaviness of the traditional mayonnaise dressing.
- 2 lb fingerling or new potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup plain Balkan-style yogurt (preferably full-fat)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh chives
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes while you prepare the dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the warm potatoes, and stir until the potatoes are evenly coated with dressing. Let cool for 15 minutes, then add the chives and stir again to combine. Serve warm, or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Category: Salads
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Canadian