This is the original recipe for this potato salad: Creamy Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs, Bon Appétit magazine, July 2007. Over two summers I have tweaked the recipe until it is perfect for us: little fuss, as few ingredients as possible to let the flavours of the dill and the rice wine vinegar and the texture of the potatoes really shine. An absolute hit at the family picnic every summer. I made it twice in two days this year since there was none leftover after lunch on the 4th.
Dill Potato Salad
3 lbs or so baby red potatoes
3-4 green onions (scallions), chopped, both whites and greens*
3/4 cup mayonnaise
grated zest of 1 lemon
rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper
fresh dill, chopped**
*I tend to be a little more generous with the green onions because I leave out the celery that the original recipe calls for.
**The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup parsley and 1/4 cup basil as well, but the one time I added all the herbs the recipe called for I felt more like I was eating an herb salad than a potato salad. Since then I have eliminated the parsley and basil and slightly increased the dill.
Boil all the potatoes, skin-on until fork-tender, then drain and leave to cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into cubes (I eyeball it, but they’re about half-inch cubes). When there is one layer of potato in the bottom of the bowl you’re assembling the potato salad in, splash some rice vinegar over the layer and season with salt and pepper. After each layer, splash some vinegar down and season with salt and pepper, all the way to the topmost layer when you run out of potatoes (vinegar, salt & pepper that layer too). Toss in the chopped green onion, the grated zest, the mayonnaise, and the dill. Use as much dill as looks about proportional to the amount of potato salad, about 2 to 3 tablespoons more or less. I tend to be generous since I leave out the other herbs, but basically I just keep eyeballing it until the proportion of white to green looks about right.
The result is simple, with a bare few ingredients, with a “mouthwatering” flavor from the rice wine vinegar, lightness and slight crunchiness from the green onions, and as Jim says, “the fresh herbs really make it.”