Season Spuds Twice When Making Potato Salad For Better Flavors

The pursuit to make a better potato salad is one that never seems to cease. From mustard to miso to garam masala, there are all kinds of unique ingredients capable of upgrading a recipe. Yet, while incorporating tasty additions is a one method to boost flavor, it isn't the only way. Knowing how to properly combine ingredients can have just as big of an impact on the lip-smacking success of a potato salad recipe. It's precisely for this reason that we always recommend seasoning spuds in dressing not once, but twice.

Regardless of whether you're whipping up a creamy potato salad or a warm and oil-drizzled rendition, spuds benefit from being dressed doubly. Since they can be bland, potatoes need all the help they can get in order to maximize flavor. Although they can effectively absorb an abundance of saucy dressing, the issue is that adding too much can weigh down a salad and cloud the taste of other ingredients. Instead, a more effective way to diffuse flavor is to prime potatoes with a light, bright, and zesty vinaigrette — all before following up with a layer of creamy dressing (or whatever your heart desires!).

Along with helping spuds to more fully absorb sauces (and lock in flavor), this technique of coating potatoes twice also increases the salad's overall complexity by imparting a sizeable degree of depth. Not to mention that this method can even keep a recipe balanced, especially if the two dressings used each boast contrasting elements of flavor.

Tips for double-dressing potato salad

There are some tricks to remember when executing a twice-dressed potato salad. First, it's essential to promptly toss warm potatoes with a vibrantly acidic dressing. A tart and tangy balsamic, Champagne, or raspberry vinaigrette will work, much like a splash of oil and pickle juice or a dash of vinegar. So long as this initial dressing is acid-driven, you can experiment however you please. After thoroughly seasoning, the next important step is to let the potatoes to rest briefly before dressing them for the second time. Doing this will allow the dressing to fully seep into the spuds, and prevent piping hot potatoes from melting or curdling creamy sauces. 

To kick off the second round of dressing, begin adding in other mix-ins like chopped onions, a dollop of chili crisp, or any other ingredient that has a place in your recipe. Next, slowly drizzle in a decadently creamy dressing or a punchy vinaigrette, making sure that everything is well-coated. Then, place the salad in the fridge for a few hours so that potatoes can cool, and flavors have a better chance to marry. At this point, the twice-seasoned salad should be perfectly dressed. But, if you notice that spuds have absorbed a significant amount of dressing and are looking dry, add more of the secondary dressing. The only thing left to do is give the salad a taste test, and prepare to marvel at the incredible difference that double-dressing can make!