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My Mother's Cooking - Boiled Potatoes and Potato Salad

Updated on October 16, 2012

Boiled Potatoes and Potato Salad

Parsley Potatoes
Parsley Potatoes
My Mother's Cooking
My Mother's Cooking
Potato Salad
Potato Salad
Potato Salad
Potato Salad
Potato Salad
Potato Salad
Salad Nicoise
Salad Nicoise

My Mother's Cooking

Cast your vote for Boiled Potatoes and Potato Salad


Boiled Potatoes and Potato Salad


My mother probably made boiled potatoes more often than any other method. Boiled potatoes are easy to make and can be used with gravies, in soups and with creamed vegetables like cucumbers or beans. Besides, my father liked boiled potatoes and that was reason enough.


If the potatoes were new potatoes from our garden, my mother would leave the skins on. Otherwise, she would peel them and cut them into chunks before boiling them. Often, she would save the leftover starchy water and use it when she baked bread. Of course, any leftover potatoes were fried for lunch the next day.


Particularly in the summer, when we had new potatoes and fresh vegetables in our garden, my mother would make potato salad. In the winter, when we had to buy our potatoes, she would use red skin potatoes, which are less starchy than russets and hold up better in salads.


I provide two of her recipes in a hubs called:

My Mother’s Cooking – Homemade Potato Salad and

German Food – Potato Salad – Kartoffelsalat


There are many different ways to make potato salad. You can use salad dressing, mayonnaise, bacon fat and vinegar or extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. You can even make an oriental version using snow peas and baby corn and dressed with soy sauce, sesame seed oil and Chinese vinegar. Two different recipes for potato salad are provided in the next section but first here is a basic recipe for making boiled potatoes.


Basic Boiled Potatoes:




Preparation Time:

20 Minutes

Cooking Time:

20 Minutes



2 Lbs. of Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks of the same size (If they are new potatoes, baby potatoes or fingerling potatoes, you can wash them and leave the skins on)

One Tablespoon of Salt

Chopped Parsley or Chives

½ Stick of Melted Butter (optional)


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place the potatoes and salt into a saucepan that is large enough to allow you to add water to about one inch over the surface of the potatoes.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil and gently simmer covered for about 15 minutes until they are fork tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes and toss with the melted butter and parsley or chives and serve warm.
  4. Refrigerate any leftover potatoes and fry them for breakfast or lunch the next day.


Potato Salad Nicoise:


Salad Nicoise consists of various vegetables on a bed of lettuce topped with canned tuna, sardines and boiled egg wedges and dressed with a vinaigrette sauce. Some people insist that only uncooked vegetables are to be used but Julia Child made hers with boiled potatoes and cooked green beans and so do I.




Preparation Time:

30 Minutes

Cooking Time:

30 Minutes



1 Head of Boston Lettuce Leaves (washed and dried)

1 Lb. of Baby Red Skin Potatoes (quartered and boiled al dente)

1 Lb. of Green Beans with the ends removed (Cooked for 3 minutes and quenched in cold water)

6 Hard Boiled Eggs (peeled and quartered)

12 Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)

½ Cup of Pitted Black Olives

3 Scallions (cut into pea sized pieces including the green parts)

1-6 Oz. Can of Chunk Tuna (packed in oil)

2 Tablespoons of Minced Parsley

Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

1 Tin of anchovy fillets (optional)


½ Cup of Vinaigrette Sauce (or more if you like)

In a small jar add ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the chopped scallions and shake vigorously just before using.



  1. Line a salad bowl with the lettuce leaves.
  2. Arrange the potatoes evenly around the bowl and spread the green beans over them.
  3. Add the tomatoes and black olives in the center and then arrange the chunks of tuna and boiled egg alternately around the bowl
  4. Thoroughly shake the vinaigrette and pour it evenly over the salad.
  5. Attractively arrange the anchovy fillets like the pokes of a wheel and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

Oriental Potato Salad:


1 Lb. of Baby Red Skin Potatoes (quartered and boiled al dente)

8 Oz. of Fresh Snow Peas (Pinch off the ends and blanch in boiling water.

1 Cup of Baby Corn (drained and cut in half lengthwise

1 Small Can of Water Chestnuts (Drained and sliced into thin rounds

1 Large Red pepper (remove the seeds and cut into ½ inch by 2 inch strips)

Salt and Pepper to taste


Soy, Vinegar Sesame Seed Oil Dressing:

½ Cup Thin Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil

2 tablespoons Chinese Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey



1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the mixed salad and toss lightly.

As you can see, boiled potatoes can be used to make a great variety of salads. Try adding chunks of ham, cheese, chicken, different cooked or raw vegetables and mayonnaise or vinaigrette. You can make your own designer salads. Bon Appetit!


Salad Nicoise

For additional ways to prepare potatoes, see the other sections of Chapter 6, which are listed below:

Chapter 6 – Potato Dishes

1. Baked, Roasted and Stuffed Potatoes

2. Boiled Potatoes and Potato Salad

3. Fried Potatoes and Hash

4. French Fries and Croquettes

5. Potato Casseroles

6. Potato Dumplings

7. Potato Pancakes

8. Norwegian Staples - Krube and Lefse


North Central Wisconsin where I learned how to cook

Wausau, WI:
Wausau, WI, USA

get directions

Milwaukee, WI:
Milwaukee, WI, USA

get directions


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    • 2patricias profile image


      6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      My mother was not a very good cook, but she did make excellent potato salad. We had boiled potatoes almost every meal in winter, and I always enjoyed them. In fact, potatoes are still one of my favourite foods. You've put some interesting recipes in this hub - I shall probably return to try one or two.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      That looks delicious. Nice looking hub.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're quite the cook and a potato connoisseur. Bravo!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I love a good potato salad.. .. I love German Potato Salad, I love a good southern salad.


      Great hub

      Voted up



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