OK, so the headline for the recipe doesn’t actually say that it’s vegan-friendly, but rest assured, this is a totally, 100% no animal-byproducts way of making potato salad. And after being raised on my grandmother’s mayonnaise-based (albeit delicious) potato salad, this was a wonderful, refreshing surprise.
If you have Marie Claire’s Crisp cookbook, you can find the recipe on page 146 under Light Meals. I don’t consider potato salad a meal, myself, but perhaps with all the awesome green on this recipe, I might start.
I’ve made a few alterations and not followed the measurements, as usual, so you’ll find my format a bit different than what’s in the book.
Potatoes (I like the small red ones)
Lemon (size depends on how much you’re going to make)
Salt and pepper
*optional items that I added
So one of the greatest contributions the book’s version of the recipe has made to my cooking repertoire is the potato preparation method. Absolutely do not change it, or your potatoes will suffer!
Anyway . . .
-Chop the potatoes up in relatively large chunks, like you’d have to cut them in halves or thirds to take a bite.
-Add the potatoes to a pot of cold, salted water then bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, remove it from the heat source and put a lid on top. Leave them for about 30 minutes, and you will have perfect potato salad consistency for your spuds. Thank you, Michele Cranston!
-Chop up all the herbs and onions and add them to your serving bowl. Ratio wise, I did about 3:2:1 with green onions being the largest portion and the parsley being the smallest. I absolutely love dill, so I wanted it to be a prominent flavor.
-How much herbs/onions do you need? What’s great about this salad is having almost as much greens as potatoes, so I would make more than you think you need. I like my potatoes being totally greened up.
-Zest the lemon and add it in there, too. Now, the book says to put wet ingredients in now, but I actually put my dry spices in with the herbs and onions and tossed it. I like how it turned out – very evenly dispersed. So toss in your dried mustard, black pepper and salt with the zest now.
-Add the dried (or at least, not sopping wet!) potatoes into the mix and roll them around in it. Now add enough olive oil to fully coat everything. Then add as much lemon juice as you want to compliment the dill. Then finally, just a touch of balsamic vinegar drizzled over top pulls out the flavor.
-Toss it all up and stick it in the fridge. It’ll cool the potatoes and allow the flavors to mingle.
A quick explanation of the additions and changes:
The mustard isn’t part of the recipe, but for me, it’s so reminiscent of my grandmother’s potato salad which was mayo and mustard-based. This potato salad has a very different flavor, but the mustard makes it for me. It’s totally optional.
I tried the recipe first without any vinegar, and it’s really fresh and delicious. So by no means do you need the vinegar To me, that touch of balsamic vinegar gives a slight tang to an otherwise well-blended mingling of flavors. It’s just a bit of a kick. If you can wait and refrigerate it overnight, you’ll need it even less.
I don’t add the wet ingredients until last because they’re something you can’t just take away. By adding the potatoes and making the salad complete minus the wet, you can add more or less based on your tastes. I’m sure you could have some delicious tasting herb-infused olive oil by doing it the other way, but I’m more concerned with how my potato salad tastes.
Anyway, give it a try, and I hope you like it. The cool thing about it is that it’s such a simple recipe that you can add and substitute ingredients to change the flavor, especially seasonally. I’m definitely going to try some mint and basil in there during the summer because I think it will be great with the lemon and maybe some lime!
PS – I have a quickly taken picture of the potato salad that I’ll try and upload when my bluetooth is working.