Potato salads can be terrible. The worst are made with bland potatoes and too much mayonnaise and are like salty, lumpy library paste. Many of those shipped into chain restaurants in 5-gallon pails fall into this category.
If you are going to make an outstanding potato salad start with potatoes that have some taste. The best that I have found are smallish potatoes from Ontario. These are oblong and about 2-3 inches long. They were called, and labeled in French, as Earth Apples. They were crisp, very slightly sweet and relatively easy to peel and cook. Unusual features in my potato salad is I mix Italian-flavored mild deer sausage in mine along with the addition of dill weed. The sausage is fried, granulated and cooled before adding to the salad. Towards the final stages of mixing I add about half a teaspoon of dill weed to 2-pounds of boiled potatoes and 1 1/2-pound of dry granulated deer sausage. I do this as I adjust seasonings and put in additional salt and pepper as needed. I prefer a light coating of mayonnaise on all of the products and the final mix is quite stiff with all of the ingredients being fully visible.
The mix of sweet/vinegar/peppers/boiled egg/onions with the deer meat gives an interesting complexity to the dish and converts it into a one-pot meal if desired. Serve this with buttered rye bread and a Burgundy wine and you can have the makings of a memorable meal from a dish that is all to often an industrialized product and taste like it.
Be brave. Experiment with your potato salad by adding sausage, other meats, flavored vinegars and other products to come up with a product that is worth eating. I use wild-game sausages that I make from wild hogs, deer and geese. An Italian sausage from your grocery store would be a good start. Just pre-cook, drain off any liberated fat and cool before adding the meat to the potato salad. There is also no reason that salmon would not work or even canned tuna, if nothing better was available.
I have a YouTube video “Best Dill Deer Potato Salad” that illustrates the making of a potato salad that was served as part of a pre-Christmas family event. The filming was done by Amber, my 12-year old niece, who has the makings of a budding film maker. She caught on very quickly to framing, composition, following action and capturing key parts of the salad making process to make the 9-minute video. The clicks and snaps that you hear are from the tripod. This is a reasonably heavy tripod that is fine for still photography, but too noisy for use with a video camera that also records sound. Next time I will use a quieter tripod or discover how to lubricate this one. Watch the video at: http://youtu.be/s_47cetZWV4 if you have any difficulty in viewing it here.