Americans can definitely agree on one thing: Potatoes are our favorite veggie. Each of us eats about a whopping 130 pounds per year. During the summer months (if not year-round), you can safely bet that loads of potatoes find their way into the ubiquitous potato salad. Honestly, can you have a cookout or picnic without one? Despite regional interpretations, there's really one basic way to make this popular dish. And here, we'll show you how to master the technique and turn out a variety of unique, healthy salads.
Cut potatoes into uniform shapes and sizes so they'll cook evenly. If they're different sizes, some will become mushy while others still have an undesirable crunch. Low-starch varieties, like red potatoes, work best in potato salads.
Be sure to start with cold water when boiling potatoes. This works to solidify the outer surfaces and helps prevent them from getting too soft as the interior cooks, so the potatoes will hold their shape nicely in a potato salad.
Make the dressing while the potatoes cook, and toss them with the dressing while they're still warm so they'll absorb maximum flavor. If using dairy products, like sour cream, allow the potatoes to cool slightly before tossing to prevent curdling.
Customize your salad. For example, add your favorite veggies, fresh herbs, or salad greens. You can even give the salad an international flair: Lemongrass adds Thai flavor; chutney lends an Indian taste.