Use Pickled Jalapeño To Give Your Potato Salad A Spicy, Tangy Kick

There is no more convenient side dish than a classic, creamy potato salad. Not only is it easy to make, but it is also easy to riff upon by customizing the choice of potato, seasoning, and other ingredients added to the bowl. One twist we love is adding pickled ingredients, especially pickled jalapeños, to give what might otherwise be a bland recipe an exciting kick.

Pickled jalapeños make a great complement to the traditional flavors of potato salad. These thin slices of pepper are preserved in vinegar, which softens their texture and adds a significant amount of acid to their equally spicy flavor profile. The heat and tanginess cut through the rich and creamy taste of potato salad, while the cooling, fat-forward ingredients in the salad temper the heat of the peppers before it becomes too much. Working as a team, this combination rounds out the eating experience and makes it more nuanced and complex — perfect for a sophisticated dinner party or an adventurous palate.

How to make and use pickled jalapeños

You can buy pickled jalapeños at most major grocery stores. They are typically located near other preserved items, like canned vegetables and traditional pickles. In a pinch, however, they are also quite easy to make. Simply heat an equal amount of vinegar and water together in a pan, along with a spoonful of salt. You can add some sugar as well if you would like to mute the intensity of the jalapeños spice. While it heats, slice your jalapeños into quarter-inch rounds or thinner, depending on the texture you'd prefer. When the salt has dissolved, add the liquid into a clean jar with the jalapeños, ensuring that all of the slices are submerged. After about half an hour, the peppers will be ready to use in your potato salad.

To add the pickled jalapeños to potato salad, there are several approaches you may wish to take. One is simply to stir the whole slices into the salad for strong bursts of crunch and heat. Or for a more subtle flavor and texture, try dicing the pickled peppers to add them in the same way you would any other relish. You can also stir the pickling brine directly into the dressing to add a hint of tangy, spicy goodness to every single bite.