For a creamy and light potato salad recipe, do as the Austrians do: Ditch the mayo and look to the soup pot. Simmering the potatoes in a shallow pan with vegetable stock, water, sugar, and salt yielded deeply flavored potatoes. Yukon Golds have just enough starch to contribute creaminess without breaking apart. To finish, the recipe calls for adding mashed potatoes to the dressing, which thicken it perfectly every time. The finished salad should be creamy and loose, with chunks of potato that keep their shape but are very tender. If you can’t find cornichons, chopped kosher dill pickles can be used in their place. To maintain its consistency, don’t refrigerate the salad; it should be served within 4 hours of preparation.
The vinegar in the cooking water is key -- it lengthens the window of time between when the potatoes go from perfectly cooked to mushy. Something about pectin in the potato breaking down...