The Beloved Potato Salad from My Russian Jewish Childhood
For the salad:
For the dressing:
  1. Wash the potatoes and carrots well. Add them to a pot, and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil, and boil the potatoes and carrots until easily pierced through with a knife. The carrots will cook faster, about 15-20 minutes. Once they are, tender remove them from the pot and allow the potatoes to finish cooking, about 15-20 minutes more, or 30-35 minutes in total. Be careful not to overcook your potatoes and carrots, you do not want them to end up as mush in the salad. Once cooked, set aside to cool or refrigerate. This step can be done up to 2 days in advance.
  2. While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, hard boil your eggs and allow them to cool. Once the potatoes and eggs are cooled, carefully remove their peels. You can either remove or keep the peel on your carrots depending on your preference.
  3. Cube all the potatoes, carrots and eggs to the same size. I like a medium-small dice.
  4. Dice the pickles slightly smaller than the other ingredients, as they have a stronger flavor. Add the cubed potatoes, carrots and eggs to a large bowl. Add the pickles and thawed peas to the bowl.
  5. In a separate small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together. Taste and adjust accordingly.
  6. Add the dressing to the potato mixture and carefully stir until everything is fully coated. Taste and add more salt if desired (every brand of kosher salt differs in salinity). If you want the salad creamier/tangier, add more mayonnaise or lemon juice. You can also use sour cream or yogurt if desired.
  7. Allow the salad to chill for at least 1 hour before serving, so that the flavors can all come together. This salad can be made up to a day in advance and stores well for 2 days. You can also make this without the dressing up to 3 days in advance, then add the dressing before serving.
  8. Before serving, transfer the salad to a serving bowl. This salad is known for being creatively decorated and festively garnished with fresh herbs, vegetable roses, etc. You can doll it up in any way you like
Recipe Notes

(Sonya Sanford is a chef, food stylist and writer based out of Los Angeles who specializes in modern Jewish cooking. Follow Sanford at or on Instagram @sonyamichellesanford.)

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