By Erin Walgamuth
Summer meals will always remind me of my parents. I was raised here in Southern California and we ate outside almost every evening during warm weather. My mom would serve homemade sun tea flavored with lemon from our tree. My dad would be stationed at the grill as my sister and I set the wooden table with our favorite daisy patterned places mats and California Mission themed ice tea glasses…oh so stylish in the 70’s.
We enjoyed all the classic foods of summer’s bounty: sweet corn on the cob, luscious fruits, artichokes fresh from the garden and everyone’s favorite, mom’s potato salad. The evening would conclude with the comforting sound of crickets, flickering candle light and a wonderful sense that all was right with the world.
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We are hosting my daughter’s graduation party this weekend. Now that my crying jag has subsided, not because we are having a party, mind you, but because my baby is going to college! I can focus on the menu for the crowd of 40 friends and relatives who will be attending this momentous occasion.
I am definitely keeping it simple, grilled burgers, hot dogs and potato salad. It makes me so happy that my children love my mom’s version of potato salad as much as I do. My mother passed away long ago, but I know she would be proud that we are carrying on this summer tradition for her youngest grandchild’s graduation party.
This recipe is open to interpretation so add more or less of whatever you like.
Cook time is about 1 hour
Pre-time is about 30 minutes
You will need:
2 cup measuring cup
Medium size serving bowl
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
4 medium size russet potatoes
1 medium red onion, peeled, dice into small pieces
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup yellow mustard
2-4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, finely minced
1/8 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely minced
2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash potatoes and pierce with a fork once or twice. Place potatoes on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven and cook for about an hour or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove potatoes from the oven and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Put the cooled potatoes in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make dressing; Put all ingredients in a glass measuring cup and combine well with a whisk or fork. Taste and adjust seasoning. You can make the dressing the day before if you wish.
Peel the potatoes and cut them in half length-wise. Cut each half into three to four strips length-wise. Cut the strip into chunks. Put the potatoes into a medium bowl. Use a spatula to gently toss the diced red onion with the potatoes. Pour dressing over potatoes and gently toss with a spatula to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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