WTF Potato Salad Recipe From Smoke & Pickles

To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Mr. Ed" in our National edition. 

Recipe adapted from Edward Lee, 'Smoke & Pickles' (Artisan)

WTF Potato Salad
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WTF Potato Salad from Smoke and Pickles by Ed Lee (Artisan)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 40 minutes
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably Duke's)
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Texas Pete)
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • Potato Salad
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 6 ounces ham (preferably ½-inch-thick-sliced country ham), chopped into small cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper--halved, seeded and very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper--halved, seeded and very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, paprika, cumin, black pepper and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Use a slotted spoon to slowly lower the eggs, one at a time, into the water. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked eggs to a large bowl of ice water to chill. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, roll them on a counter to crack the shell, then peel the shell away. Quarter the eggs and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the salt and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and, to the cooked potatoes in the saucepan, add the snap peas and let them sit in the hot water for 2 minutes. Drain the potatoes and snap peas in a colander and cool under cold running water. Cut the potatoes crosswise into ¾-inch-wide pieces and add them to a large bowl along with the snap peas, ham, red and yellow bell peppers, celery and pickles.
  4. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until it begins to shimmer, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are wilted and browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the potatoes. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Add the dressing to the potato salad and stir to combine. Top with the egg quarters and serve at room temperature.
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