Potato Salad

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Vinegar and lemon juice brighten this traditional picnic side full of creamy potatoes and topped with piquant dry spice rub.
(Jerrelle Guy)
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Sometimes we’d have potato salad with Sunday dinner, but mostly we had it as a barbecue side dish. It was definitely one of my favorites. Still is. I think it’s the sweet-spicy-sour interplay among the sweet pickles, the mayonnaise and the mustard that I like so much. Using red-skinned potatoes gives you a creamier result than russet potatoes. It’s best to dress the potatoes when they’re still hot. That not only gets the seasoning into the potatoes quicker, it also creates a balanced texture for a mighty fine potato salad.

For the potatoes:
For the dressing:
For the salad:

Cook the potatoes: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the salt and quartered potatoes. Reduce the heat and gently boil the potatoes until they yield easily when a knife is inserted through their centers, 15 to 20 minutes.


While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing: In a large bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, relish, mustard, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, sugar, chile flakes and cayenne and whisk until incorporated. Stir in the celery and red onion, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


Make the salad: Once the potatoes are tender, drain them and add them while hot to the bowl with the dressing. Use a large spoon to break up the potatoes to really get the dressing onto every surface while the potatoes are hot.


Chop the eggs to your liking or press them through a sieve to break them up into fine bits. Fold the eggs into the salad and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the Rib Rub and scallions over the salad to serve.

Rodney's Rib Rub


Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and place them in an airtight container. Cover and store in a cool, dry place until ready to use. Makes 1 cup.

Adapted from “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day” (Clarkson Potter, 2021) by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie.
Make Ahead:
The dressing can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The potato salad, minus the rib rub and scallions, can be made and stored in a bowl, covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.