One of the great pleasures (and there were many) of a morning at Chicago’s Green City Market was the remarkable display of potatoes at Nichol’s Farms. The colors! The shapes and sizes! My favorites were some little purple potatoes that defied all expectations for tubers, in color and flavor and texture.
Up north we are far from seeing any bounty from the farms, but potatoes are always with us. For potato salads, which are top of mind the moment the calendar flips to June, I have not veered much from the basic, ubiquitous three that we all know and love: russets or Idaho potatoes, red or new potatoes, and Yukon gold.
The question does always remain, though: which potato is best for potato salad? Truth is that any one of the three work well, just differently. They vary according to starch content, with russets and Idaho being the starchiest and the most likely to crumble, which makes them ideal for mashed potatoes. Yukon gold have a medium level of starch, and red or new potatoes a low level. You can use any of these potatoes for potato salad, recognizing the way each will perform and taking that into account when cooking them. Which we’ll discuss at length tomorrow.