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My mama’s potato salad is one of those delicious side dishes that goes with almost any meal. I also like the fact that you can serve it year-round, not just at a holiday dinner.
We eat this during summer picnics, at Thanksgiving, and any other time we feel like it. That’s what makes it the perfect side dish.
Every southerner claims to have the best potato salad, but a lot of the recipes are similar. So my mother figured out a way to make hers a tad different.
She garnished it with sliced, pimento-stuffed green olives. And I’m not talking about just a few. In fact, she pretty much covered the top of it with olives.
My dad and I teased her and said that the salad was looking back up at us. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t amused, but she kept doing it.
After a while, people began to look for her potato salad because it was so different. I still make her version, but I don’t put as many olives on the top. And I sprinkle paprika to add even more color.
Of course you’ll need potatoes. Any kind will do, but since I had small red potatoes in the bin, I used them.
The rest of the ingredients are what add flavor, texture, and presentation. I use hard-boiled eggs, celery, sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, and a tiny bit of mustard.
You’ll need paprika and green olives with pimentos for garnish.
You can add other ingredients as well. For example, my great-aunt liked to put bacon in hers, while another relative added cheese.
If you think something might be good in your potato salad, try adding it to a small amount.
How to Make Mama’s Potato Salad
Potato salad is one of the easiest side dishes you can make for big payoff when it’s done. After boiling the potatoes and eggs, it’s all about assembling the ingredients and adding a touch of garnish.
First, cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and boil them in a pot of water. In a separate pot, boil the eggs.
While the potatoes and eggs are boiling, chop the celery. After the potatoes are done rinse them in cold water and set them aside.
Peel the eggs when they’re cool enough to handle and chop them.
Mix the potatoes and chopped eggs with the celery, pickle relish, mayonnaise, and mustard. Now you have potato salad, but we’re not done.
Carefully scoop the potato salad into a serving bowl. Dust the top with paprika. Be careful to let some of the potato salad poke through.
Finally, slice some olives and place them on top. Now you have a beautiful potato salad that’s ready for your next potluck or family dinner.
Surprising Way to Serve Mama’s Potato Salad
When we lived in Florida, we used to go to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Not only is this a fun place for tourists to visit, but also many locals enjoy hanging out there.
In addition to the great shops and delightful music in this Greek community, the food is wonderful. We love all of the restaurants there–especially the ones with delicious pastries.
We also enjoy the music. If you go to Tarpon Springs, check to see if they’re having one of their street festival events and plan around one of them.
One of our favorite restaurants puts a scoop of potato salad under the Greek salad. It was like finding a buried treasure beneath the vegetables.
So when I make Mediterranean salads, I often bury a little potato salad under the lettuce if I have some leftover.
More Delicious Side Dish Recipes
If you’re like me and enjoy discovering new recipes, check out Weekend Potluck at South Your Mouth, Meal Plan Monday at Julia’s Simply Southern, and Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. I also visit Super Fabulous Friday at A Big Green House.
- 24 small red potatoes cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (more if you want it extra creamy)
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 3 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- 6 pimento-stuffed green olives, each cut into 3 or 4 slices
- Boil the eggs. After they cool, peel them and chop them.
- Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Rinse and set aside to cool.
- Put cooked potatoes and chopped eggs in a medium-size mixing bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise, celery, pickle relish, and mustard.
- Mix all of the ingredients until everything is coated.
- Scoop the mixture into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the paprika over the top.
- Evenly place the olive slices over the top of the potato salad.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate until time to serve it.
If you want a creamier potato salad, add more mayonnaise, one tablespoon at a time.
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