I have to admit I love mayonnaise, especially when I make it myself, just like I plan to do this Labor Day. My sister and I share the picnic menu and, as always, my job includes making the potato salad with my homemade mayonnaise.
Just because I adore mayonnaise, though, doesn’t mean everyone else does. I remember the first time I saw a friend eat a hamburger without mayonnaise and all I could think was, “Why bother eating it at all?” I hate to admit it, but I have the same problem with potato salad. Just today, while asking advice from Paige, my Whole Foods Market friend and Team Leader, I was reminded that there is more to potato salad than just mayonnaise.
That sent me on a quest to discover the many possible variations such as tossing with vinaigrette, adding cheese, flavoring with mustard (like Paige does), and adding interesting additions of vegetables, proteins and fruit. Here’s a great assortment of potato salad ideas:
- If you’ve never made a homemade potato salad, look no further than this Learn to Cook: The Best Basic Potato Salad recipe.
- Experiment with a variety of potatoes including red, white, yellow and even purple or sweet potatoes. A combination of white and sweet potatoes is fun and colorful. Remember that regardless of variety, all potatoes should be slightly undercooked to prevent mushy potato salad. Here’s a recipe for Red Potato and Asparagus Salad.
- Always add some crunchy veggies such as celery, carrots, cucumbers and onions. Paige loves red onion, celery and dill pickles in her potato salad.
- Add interesting flavors from a variety of vinegars, mustards, capers, olives and something to kick it up a notch or two like minced or diced jalapeño peppers or a favorite salsa. Be aware that dark vinegar such as balsamic will alter the color of your potato salad! This recipe for Potato Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes is seriously flavorful. This very traditional German Potato Salad calls for apple cider vinegar while olives and roasted red peppers are the stars of this Potato Salad with Green Olives.
- Don’t forget fresh herbs and seasonings such as chives, parsley, basil, marjoram, thyme, cumin, coriander, paprika and curry powder.
- Move past plain mayonnaise as I am doing. Experiment with vinaigrettes and other favorite salad dressings. Ranch, buttermilk and blue cheese all sound delicious. This recipe for Dijon Vinaigrette Potato Salad is made with extra virgin olive oil, fresh tarragon and capers.
- Consider adding a sprinkling of dried fruit such as currants, dried cherries or slivered dates.
- Make it hearty with the addition of hard-boiled eggs, cheese, sliced ham, turkey or chicken. Marinated baked tofu is another great addition, as is bite-size pieces of marinated grilled or baked tempeh. You will love this recipe for Potato and Egg Salad. It’s flavored with piquillo peppers.
You probably want Paige’s Potato salad recipe by now. While mayo isn’t the star, it does provide a supporting role. She calls this “Texas Mustard Potato Salad.”
- 10 medium red potatoes
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/4 onion, finely diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 4 dill pickle spears, diced
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Boil potatoes until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and roughly cut into chunks. Place in the refrigerator to cool while preparing remaining ingredients. (This helps the potatoes keep their shape). At least 30 minutes before serving, add chopped onion, celery and pickles to potatoes. Whisk together mustards, mayonnaise, spices and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the potatoes and toss to coat!
And here’s my mayonnaise recipe:
- 2 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- Pinch of paprika
- ½ tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup good quality oil, divided (at various times, I have used macadamia nut, avocado, olive and sunflower oil)
Put egg, salt, mustard powder, paprika, vinegar, lime juice and 2 tablespoons of the oil into a blender on low to combine for a few seconds. Remove the top and very slowly drizzle in the remaining oil, gradually increasing the blender speed until all oil is used and the mayonnaise has thickened. Transfer to a glass container with a lid and refrigerate for 2 to 3 weeks. (If you like sweet mayonnaise, add raw honey to taste along with the eggs, salt, etc.).
Got a favorite potato salad recipe you can’t face a picnic without? I’d love to hear!