I love food with a history, and this recipe has a long history in my family. My grandmother has been making this simple oil and vinegar potato salad for as long as I remember, and it has always been referred to as “Uncle John’s Potato Salad.” According to Grandma, this recipe came from an “old European relative,” and was her Uncle John’s favorite. My guess is that this recipe goes back at least 75 years, far longer than anyone remembers.
Uncle John had very defined tastes. He drank scotch, root beer and tea (water’s only purpose was for brushing teeth), liked his Polish ham cut thick and this oil and vinegar potato salad. I could go on and on about my Great Great Uncle John, but mostly he was a very cool guy.
This is one of those perfect recipes that is easy and gets better as the potatoes get a chance to absorb the dressing. Nothing glamorous, but sometimes you just want a sure thing.
I remove the skins from the cooked potatoes by rubbing them with a dish towel. This is super simple and I never worry if there are bits of skin left on.
A quick note: This recipe was originally posted soon after I started CookingOnions.com. The photo below is from my original post. Painful, I know. But that’s Grandma’s handwriting on the recipe card that I received at my wedding shower.
|Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad|| |
- 3 pounds of red potatoes - preferably salad size
- 1 white onion
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- ¾ cup canola oil
- salt, pepper and parsley to taste
- Wash the potatoes and put them in a large pot filled with cold water
- Boil until the potatoes are cooked but firm (FIRM, as my grandmother underlined in the recipe, and as she reminded me today)
- Once the water is up to a boil, this may take 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes
- Mix together the oil and vinegar (I also add some salt and pepper to this mix, but Grandma adds it later)
- Dice the onions and put them tin a large bowl
- Drain the cooked potatoes
- Once they cool down, peel the skins off by rubbing them with a dish towel
- Mix the potato and onion, and pour the dressing on top. Add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste.