Potato Salad is an absolute must for my family’s Christmas dinner on December 24th. I ate it every Christmas growing up in the Czech Republic, and now I cannot imagine a holiday meal without it.
A Czech friend of mine and I have a tradition here in Colorado to get together with families to prepare our absolute best potato salad. The kids usually play, our husbands drink and play backgammon, and the two of us are hard at work.
It is best to cook the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and celeriac root a day before because of the large quantities used and how long each vegetable takes. We usually divide prep work among us the day before, so we arrive with the veggies already cooked and ready to be combined.
We do not really use a recipe nor do we measure anything, which means that there is a lot of tasting during this process. It also tends to change a little every year, and from Christmas to Christmas, it’s always unique! We use such large quantities of everything in order to make as much as possible so we do not have to cook again. By the end of Christmas time, nobody wants to see potato salad anymore, but everyone is looking forward to it again in a year. :-)
Zora’s Czech Family Potato Salad:
Yields 16-24 servings
All these vegetables are boiled a day ahead in water in a large stock pot. Cook them until they are soft enough that a fork can go into them easily, but not so long that they become mush. I typically cook these the day before because there are so many, and I only have one pot large enough for each type of vegetable! You could do this all in one day, but who has that much time during the holidays?
- Potatoes (boil whole with peel) - as many as possible! I use my largest pot and fill them to the very top.
- 5 whole Celeriac Root (peel and boil whole)
- 4 Parsnip Root (peel and boil whole)
- 6-8 Carrots (peel and boil whole)
The day after cooking the vegetables:
- Peel potatoes and chop into small cubes.
- Cut up the celeriac, parsnip and carrots into small cubes and add them to the potatoes. (You might need a small tub or bucket to mix all of this.)
- 2 Onion (cut into small cubes)
- 1 jar Pickles (cut into small cubes)
- 1 jar pickled mixed vegetables (I like Mezzetta’s pickled Italian Mix)
- Mayonnaise to taste
- Dijon Mustard to taste
- Sea Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
Mix all of the above well, but make sure not to over mix it so it does not turn into a mush.
There is a lot of tasting that goes into getting it just right. After we’re happy with it, we divide the whole amount between both families.
Traditionally this potato salad is served with fried carp and fish soup for Christmas dinner on the 24th of December, but you can enjoy it as a side for any of your favorite holiday meals.
I hope you enjoy this potato salad! Please leave me any comments below or email me your creations to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see what you make!