Sunny Anderson's Method For Perfectly Textured Potato Salad - Exclusive

Don't make the mistake of relegating potato salad-making time to hurried, last-minute party prep or a-5-year-old-could-do-it territory. An exceptional potato salad takes culinary acumen, per potato salad lover and Food Network star Sunny Anderson. Two elements separate a good one from an extraordinary one, and both are about thinking through layers of texture.

First — as Anderson advised Tasting Table in an exclusive interview — the easy way out is to boil your potatoes. Avoid taking that route. Roasting them, per the "BBQ Brawl" host, is a simple way to elevate your salad. "It intensifies the flavor of the potato. [The] texture is different, I really like it," she detailed. "If you're boiling, you can go sometimes too far, and you're tossing your potato salad and you're watching it fall apart. Or, you can go not far enough, and it's too toothsome." On a side note, be delicate when it's time to test the potatoes for doneness — a fork, as Anderson wisely pointed out, is prone to "mutilate" your root vegetable. But using a toothpick will keep the body of the potato intact. 

Secondly, good texture is not achieved through proper potato preparation alone. Meat lovers of the world should add bits of "crispy, crispy bacon" to their potato salad for added oomph, according to Anderson. "When we're talking about from good to great, it's the potatoes, and there's got to be something crunchy," the celebrated home cook told us. "It's supposed to be the bacon."

For a good potato salad, think through its sauce

Texture takes a potato salad to Sunny Anderson-approved heights, but perhaps we've jumped too far ahead. You can't go from solid to fantastic without achieving good first. When it comes to potato salad making, "good" means getting the sauce right. Anderson's potato salad wisdom says the salad sauce must be "balanced," which means that as much as we all love it, mayo alone is not enough. "There should be some acidity in there," the culinary celeb affirmed to Tasting Table. It doesn't have to be lemon or lime; The "BBQ Brawl" host's touch of acidity, for example, comes from a "good stone-ground mustard" and — per her recipe — a touch of apple cider vinegar.

Spice aficionados, take note — your salad needn't be devoid of heat, either. Follow Anderson's lead and add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the mix to give your starchy side an extra kick. Between the balance of flavors in the sauce and just the right touch of crunch, you may never see potato salad the same again!