la buona cucina americana: insalata di patate della mamma

One of my favorite “Made by Mom” dishes is potato salad.

Indeed, I love all kinds of potato salad, including the one that Mary of The Flavors of Abruzzo posted two weeks ago. But my mom’s, well, it’s just my all-time favorite. It’s great for a summer picnic, but we also have it as a side dish for Thanksgiving, and even at Christmas and Easter time to go along with baked ham.

Needless to say, it’s a delicious taste of home, and it’s this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana recipe.

You see, when my mom was here over the summer, I specifically requested potato salad, but I didn’t realize at the time that it would be perfect for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (potatO salad, get it?). So here it is.

By the way, remember to get in your recipes and entries for the O Foods Contest–details here!

Two notes on this potato salad: do play with the measurements until you get the exact taste you want. Also, onions go great in this, but be careful not to add too much as they will overpower the other flavors.

Mom’s Potato Salad

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (distilled or cider)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Hard boil the eggs. Remove from water and set aside. When cool, peel and cut into cubes.

2. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender. Remove from water and set aside. When cool, peel and cut into cubes.

3. Prepare celery.

4. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard, and add potatoes, eggs, and celery. Mix well.

5. Taste for salt and pepper.

6. Put potato salad in the refrigerator to chill for about a half hour before serving.

Insalata di patate della Mamma

  • 3 patate medie
  • 2 uova bollite
  • 2 gambe di sedano tritate
  • 1 bicchiere di maionese
  • 1 cucchiaio di aceto di mele
  • 1 cucchiaino di zucchero
  • 1/4 cucchiaino di senape
  • sale e pepe qb

1. Fate bollire le uova, lasciatele raffreddare, sgusciatele e tagliatele a pezzi non troppo grande.

2. Fate bollire le patate in acqua salata (non devono essere troppo morbide), lasciatele raffreddare, sgusciatele e tagliatele a pezzi di circa 3 cm.

3. Tritate il sedano non troppo sottile.

4. Mettete le uova, le patate e il sedano in una ciotola e aggiungete il maionese, l’aceto, e il senape. Mescolate bene.

5. Aggiungete sale e pepe a piacere.

6.  Mettete l’insalata nel frigorifero per circa 30 minuti prima di servire.

Buon appetito e buon weekend!

26 Beans of Wisdom to “la buona cucina americana: insalata di patate della mamma”
  1. Gil

    Similar to my wife’s (actually her Mother’s) except adds some chopped up sweet pickles and the juice from the bottles the pickles came in. My wife saves empty pickle bottles to have juice to use for flavoring potato salad.

    I’m weird with pickles Gil. I *love* all kinds of pickles, but I really don’t like them *in* anything…always on the side. Love that your wife saves the “empty” jars–definitely something I’d do!

  2. 09.26.2008

    I’m ready. Can we have this for breakfast? I like onion, but must have celery. When I have them I use celery seed as well. I never use sugar, though, but that’s a schtick of mine.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog buona cucina americana: Mom’s potato salad

    My family seems to put a pinch of sugar in a lot of stuff, including a basic ragu. And they wonder why I have a sweet tooth….

  3. I’ve never used sugar either. I will have to try this recipe as I love potatoes in all forms, salad, fried, roasted etc.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Miss South Carolina – Special VP debate edition

    Potato lover here as well! I love how they’re so filling too…don’t have to eat a lot of them to be satisfied (although I often eat a lot anyway just in case) 😉

  4. 09.26.2008

    Yum-yum! Sounds very similar to my mom’s potato salad, only she leaves out the celery and eggs!

    Absolute Vanilla’s last blog post..Bees in the pink

    Oh I just have to have the eggs and celery; same with tuna salad for me 🙂

  5. joanne at frutto della passione

    I love potato salad, never got much of it growing up (not this kind, we always had it Italian style) so when I see this (we call it mangiacake potato salad) I usually have seconds (and thirds). The strange thing is that as much as I love it I have never made it. Maybe it’s time to start!! Thanks for sharing.

    joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Poutine and Beaver tails

    Honestly I think I’d only made this once before my mom came here…sometimes you just have a craving though 😉

  6. 09.26.2008

    Yum! This is very similar to my grandma’s potato salad, which she made by the gallon. Every picnic, almost every summer lunch included it. But she added chives, which give it a little extra something. 🙂 She always added the pinch of sugar, too. Interestingly, my Italian nana (other side of the family) also added a pinch of sugar to her sugo. Hmmm…regional thing? Ohio/PA? Boh.

    Valerie’s last blog post..Shepherdess in Training

    Hmm…very interesting about the sugar. And yes, I love this with chives! But then again, I love chives in pretty much anything 😉

  7. Enza

    Does P eat the potato salad? I can remember my parents would never eat anything that had mayonnaise in it. Dad would say, “I am a Italian, I don’t eat anything that resembles poop.” Not sure where that came from but in his mind, mayonnaise was not Italian and not edible.

    P doesn’t like mayo, butter, or milk, although I’ve seen plenty of other Italians eat/drink all of the above, so I’m pretty sure it’s just personal. I’ve even had one Italian looking for the recipe of this potato salad when I posted the photo on Flickr 🙂

  8. 09.26.2008

    You won’t believe it but just today at lunch we were talking about the differences between Italian “insalata russa” and potato salad. I can’t stand the Italian version. It’s too busy for my tastes. I’ve made potato salad in a similar way to your mom’s recipe, with the sugar and vinegar. It’s great comfort food. And it tastes a little like KFC’s potato salad, which is always yummy!

    Milanese Masala’s last blog post..Cinema, amore mio!

    Not a big fan of insalata russa here either; we’re just spoiled with really good potato salad, I guess 😉

  9. 09.26.2008

    I have a recipe that’s similar to this, but mine has a little chopped scallion and, I think, chopped dill pickle. I haven’t made it in ages, but now that you’ve posted that photo, I won’t be happy until I do. I might even have to make a potato salad sandwich (slice of bread topped with potato salad topped with slice of bread), which is the grossest and most delicious version of potato salad.

    flurrious’s last blog post..If Levi’s Ever Stops Making 501s, I’ll Have to Take My Own Life

    Sounds great to me 🙂

  10. 09.26.2008

    It’s a classic! Reminds me of my mom’s too.

    Yum for your mom’s potato salad too 🙂

  11. 09.26.2008

    mmmm, yet another of your recipes saved in my favorites!!!


    Butterfly Mama’s last blog post..Me??!!!

    So happy to know that Heidi, thanks 🙂

  12. Sandy

    This sounds so similar to my mom’s potato salad – it must be a Pennsylvania potato salad thing!

    Definitely could be Sandy 🙂

  13. 09.26.2008

    That looks yummy, I’ll have to try it!

    saretta’s last blog post..I Fell Down and Went Boom

    Please do 🙂

  14. 09.26.2008

    One of my favorite summer classics. Thanks Mamma Espresso 🙂

    My Mélange’s last blog post..”O”recchiette Gina

    Mamma says you’re very welcome 🙂

  15. 09.27.2008

    This is one of those foods that always brings a smile to my face. It reminds me of summer fun and birthday parties from my youth. My birthday is in the middle of summer and we always had my Mom’s potato salad at every one of my childhood birthday celebrations.

    Ciao bella!! 😉

    Debbbie Egizio’s last blog post..Chippy Chairs

    Happy to bring back some happy memories for you Debbie 🙂

  16. OMG – this looks SOOOOOOO good. Haven’t eaten in hours and I’m thinking a bowl of that would be real good right about now. And it’s 1 in the morning here in Texas! lol LOVE your food posts!

    Salena of The Daily Rant’s last blog post..My America. Your America. OUR America.

    Glad you enjoy! Mom’s food makes me happy too 🙂

  17. Gil

    The sugar in the gravy, sauce, is supposed to cut some of the acidity of the tomatoes according to my Sicilian Grandmother and my Mom. My wife saves bottles with pickle juice just for flavoring potato salad. She also has a collection of saved glass bottles and jars to use fro leftovers. Most products here now come in plastic and not glass, thus the obsession to hoard glass i even greater.

    On the sugar, yes–and it’s in the potato salad to cut the vinegar 🙂 It’s amazing that here in Italy, packaging is still pretty “classic”…you can even find glass Coke bottles everywhere!

  18. 09.27.2008

    Classic American Potato salad … one of my favorites. Perfect with barbecue as well … something I am definitely longing now that Fall is in full swing here in New York!

    Maria’s last blog post..Thank You

    Yum! I want to have a barbecue too 🙂

  19. 09.27.2008

    I want this. I want this now. I just had breakfast, but I’m hungry just looking at this. Off to see if I have any potatoes…

    Kacey’s last blog post..Weather Thoughts

    Mangia mangia!

  20. 09.27.2008

    Thanks for sharing. What is it about Mom’s and Grandmother’s making the best potato salad?

    My Nanny’s is a family staple!

    Eryn Chandler’s last blog post..It’s the morning after and our ears are still ringing!

    Lucky you Eryn!

  21. My mom is reminded of me when she sees potato salad because I used to make lots of it before!

    BTW, please pick up a blog award I have for you over at my place.

    Grace @ Sandier Pastures’s last blog post..Two blog awards and a tag

    Thanks Grace! Too funny about your being associated with potato salad 🙂

  22. 09.28.2008

    Nothing says summer and BBQ’s and picnics like potato salad. I have my entry into the event posted as well:D Thanks for co-hosting this event Michelle for a very worthy cause:D

    Bellini Valli’s last blog post..**Orzo** for Ovarian Cancer

    Great! Thank *you* for participating 🙂

  23. 09.29.2008

    oh yum…

    jennifer’s last blog post..persistence of memory


  24. 09.29.2008

    One more attempt to comment on the potato salad. Next saturday I will try it, I will let you know what the guests think about it. Now let me see if the comment appears….

    So happy to see your comment came through 🙂 Hope you enjoy the potato salad!

  1. [...] there are numerous versions and they are all yummy to this spud lover.  This week, Michelle of Bleeding...
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Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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