Summer grilling and potluck season is here! As a kid, I always loved my mom’s potato salad, but I quickly learned not all potato salads are created equally. They can be too gloppy, have too much mayo, or just be blah. I don’t remember exactly how my mom made hers, but it was flavorful without being too heavily dressed. It had mayo and a touch of mustard for color and flavor. There was plenty of dill pickles. I think it had black olives. It was always garnished with a healthy sprinkling of paprika.
This potato salad recipe skips the mayo, but instead uses a non-emulsified dressing of not-too-hard-boiled egg yoks, mustard, vinegar and olive oil. So it’s got all the classic mayonnaise ingredients in a different form. It is lightly dressed, and the starch of the potatoes soak up and bind to the dressing. Even though the dressing is not homogenous, it all binds together as one. There is also plenty of crunch from pickles and celery, and lots of flavor from fresh herbs. For my husband, I add bacon, but you can skip that if you’d like.
I often make my potato salad with a slight kick to it, but I wrote this recipe without to keep it mild. Feel free to add a sprinkle of cayenne, Aleppo pepper, or a few dashes of hot sauce. As a spice lover myself, I would totally be supportive of that move!
Potato Salad (serves 8)
- 2lbs new potatoes, medium sized and close to equal size(Yukon gold or red potatoes are great options.)
- 5 cloves of garlic, plus one clove minced
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- kosher salt
- 4 strips of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch wide pieces (optional)
- 5 eggs
- 1 celery stalk, small diced
- 1/2 cup small diced red onion
- 1 cup small diced dill pickles
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 T capers, finely chopped
- 3 T vinegar (Apple cider, red wine or sherry are my favorites here.)
- 3 oz olive oil
- 2 T stoneground mustard
- 1/3 cup chopped dill and parsley
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare the potatoes. Clean and scrub potatoes. Do not peel. If some are large than others cut them in half to make the chunks closer to the same size. Add rosemary and 5 peeled cloves of garlic. Cover with COLD water and heavily salt the water as if you were making pasta. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a skewer. Drain the potatoes and put on a baking rack over a sheet pan to cool. Discard the rosemary, but save the garlic cloves.
- Line a sheet pan with perforated lining. (If you don’t have the lining, that’s okay, but keep a closer eye on your bacon as it will get crispy faster in the fat.) Render the bacon in the oven until it is slightly crispy, about 15 minutes.
- Drain the fat and save for later use. Alternatively, you can do this on the stove top, but I prefer to use the oven.
- Place eggs in cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn off and remove from the heat, and cover with a lid. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Then drain the hot water, and run in cold water to cool the eggs. You can add a few ice cubes to speed up the process.
- When potatoes are cool enough to touch, cut them into diced sized pieces and then finish cooling in the fridge.
- Mince the poached garlic. Add the diced celery, onion, pickles, green onions, and capers, and set aside.
- Peel the eggs. Cut in half, and remove egg yolks. Set aside the whites. chop the egg yolks lightly, and add to a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Smash the egg yolks with a fork and add vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and one clove of minced fresh garlic. Whisk to combine. It will not be emulsified.
- Small dice the egg whites.
- When potatoes are fully cool, combine them with veggies, dressing, and egg whites and chill, preferably for at least an hour. It can be chilled overnight if desired. Add the fresh herbs shortly before serving and toss to mix thoroughly.
If you like these flavors, check out my Bacon Deviled Eggs recipe.