Hye Thyme Cafe: Traditional Potato Salad

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Traditional Potato Salad

Potato Salad : Hye Thyme Cafe

I know, I know ... what's traditional to us isn't necessarily traditional to everyone/anyone else, but for me, this is a traditional potato salad, as opposed to a warm potato salad, a potato salad with eggs, various dressings, etc. Personally, I never understood putting eggs in potato salad. If I want potato salad, I make potato salad. If I want egg salad, I make egg salad. The combination just seems weird to me.

When it comes to potatoes, I'll sometimes use white, sometimes red. I lean more toward the waxy varieties, like Yukon Gold. I think they hold up better when being tossed with the other ingredients.

4 lg potatoes
1 small red onion
4-5 pickling cucumbers
5-6 Vlasic baby dills
3/4 c Hellmann's Mayonnaise
1 T dried dillweed
3 T pickle juice
Salt and Pepper

Whether you want to peel your potatoes or not (sometimes I half peel them so there is just a little skin in the mix), you want to dice them into relatively uniform pieces for even cooking. Bring a pot of water up to a boil, season with a little salt, then add the potatoes and cook until tender. If you have a large strainer, it makes things easier. You can just lift the strainer out to drain them when they're done, dump out the pot and run the potatoes under cold water to stop the cooking process. The strainer also comes in handy since you can toss the pieces in it while you're chopping and your pot is already on the stove coming up to temp.

For the cucumbers, I prefer the pickling cucumbers since they have great flavor and aren't as seedy as their larger counterparts. As you can see above, I leave a little of their skin on for color as well. They're just the right size to slice in half lengthwise, then into half-moons.

When it comes to dill pickles, I'm a Vlasic kinda gal. I find them to be much more flavorful and crisp than other brands. I don't mind branching out when we're talking about sweet pickles or bread and butter, but don't mess with my dills! ;)  If I can't find the babies for some reason, since the larger ones are softer in the middle, I'll slice them the same way as the small ... cut off one side, turn the pickle flat onto that cut side, cut off the next, turn it onto that side, cut off the next.  When it comes to the center, I usually eat that for a snack and stick to the more sturdy/crunchy outer edges. With the little ones, I'll use the whole pickle.

Dice your onion into whatever size you like, then set all of that aside and check on how your potatoes are doing - poke them with a fork to see if you meet with resistance; if so, keep cooking and go make your dressing ...

Mayo is another thing I'm a stickler about. Some brands are very eggy tasting, and some are very sweet. I try to stick to Hellmann's, which I think is a nice balance. Stir the dill into the mayo, then add the pickle juice. You may need more or less depending on your brand. If it's too mild, try a splash of vinegar. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste, then check on your potatoes again.

You want to dress the potatoes while they're still warm, so they soak up that flavor, but you want to let it chill for a bit before adding the veggies so they don't cook. If you like your potato salad chunky like we do, you will want to try and gently fold the dressing and veggies into the potatoes so you don't end up mashing them.

Once everything is incorporated, give the top a little sprinkle of paprika, let it chill for a while, and you're good to go. 

Potato Salad : Hye Thyme Cafe


  1. Yes!! Someone who finally agrees with me!! LOL I'm gonna try your recipe!! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. About the eggs?

      One odd thing that we do, and I'm not sure when this started ... we'll sometimes add a ring of black olives around the outside. Not briney olives, just the canned Lindsey olives. I usually only do that if I'm making a HUGE batch for something. Sounds weird, but it's good. :)

  2. I am making potato salad today. Yours looks good.

    1. What do you put in yours, anything unusual???


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