Creamy, silky, tangy, and totally packed with flavour, this potato salad is quite at home on the dinner table as well as in picnic basket or part of a potluck spread. Super easy to make, i think this strikes the perfect balance of potato and vegges to “dressing”…unlike so many store bought ones that make the potato part feel like an afterthought. I really recommend using tiny new potatoes in this recipe, either halved or quartered…but it works just as well with full size potatoes, just don’t cut your pieces too small.
1.4kg | 3lbs potatos, quartered or halved if small, cubed if large
85g | ½ cup orange bell pepper, finely chopped
185g | 1 ½ cups celery, finely chopped
6g | 2 tsp garlic, minced
25g | 2 ½ Tbsp shallots, fine chopped
240g/ml | 1 cup mayo (vegan, egg, whatever you’d like)
70g/ml | ¼ cup dijon mustard
25g | ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
9g | 4tsp parsley, minced
1g | ¾ tsp fresh tarragon, minced
1.7g | ¾ tsp black pepper, fresh ground
0.5g | ¾ tsp marjoram
0.7g | ¾ tsp thyme
15g | 1 Tbsp brown mustard seed, toasted*
0.8g | ¼ tsp turmeric
3g | ½ tsp salt
Cook your potatoes either by:
Instant pot/electric pressure cooker: place potatoes in steamer basket, add 1 cup water (or whatever minimum for your pot is) and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, allow 5 minutes before releasing pressure. Check potatoes for doneness, if not cooked through cook an additional minute or two with a quick release
Or Stovetop steamer: place potatoes in steamer basket with a cup or two of water (not enough so the water reached the potatoes), bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, cover and steam for 10-25 minutes, checking for doneness along the way
While potatoes are cooking, combine everything else together and stir to mix
When potatoes are done, remove from steamer basket, toss with your mix to thoroughly coat, being careful not to break up your potatoes, taste and adjust salt as desired (keeping in mind that it will seem less salty when cold) and place in fridge uncovered to cool
Once cool (an hour is usually okay), cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours)
*to toast your mustard seed, heat over medium heat in a dry pan, stirring/shaking/shimmying constantly until they begin cracking and popping out of the pan
I chose to use waxy new potatoes in this recipe because i wanted a firmer texture and a finer grain in the potatoes, something that felt a tad more substantial, you are welcome to use a grainier potato (like a russet) if you’d like something lighter and fluffier, both ways are delicious. Mayo brings the creaminess and provides the bulk of the dressing base, don’t use one that’s too sweet here (read as: not sweet at all) so that the dijon and herbs can really shine, speaking of the dijon, it is the star of the show here, everything else is used to enhance and compliment it, so choose a good one, maybe an actual french one, but use one you really love. Celery and orange bell pepper bring crunch (you can use whatever colour sweet pepper you’d like, or have on hand, but the orange really marries well with the other ingredients) and some nice added bursts of flavour, the bell bringing it a touch of sweetness. Shallots and garlic lend some oomph, a bit of earthiness and a little zing, while the scallions provide a nice grassiness and a lovely added texture. Fresh tarragon and parsley further help to lighten the mix and highlight those high notes of the dijon, toasted brown mustard seed bring in a crazy delightful crunchy pop, dry marjoram, thyme, and black pepper bring in some woodsy herbaceous notes to help ground and meld the flavours. Finally there is justa touch of turmeric to kind of spike up the colour just a teensy bit and add a touch more earthiness, you’re welcome to add more if you like the flavour and want a brighter colour.
This is one of those times where having an electric pressure cooker is such a delight, allowing one to cook the potatoes evenly and quick, without adding a ton of moisture. If you don’t have one, i definitely recommend either steaming your cut potatoes, or boiling them whole and then cutting them (but really, don’t boil them.)
Now, i chose to go with a really chunky potato salad, like, one or two pieces per fork chunky, maybe that’s not your thing, maybe it is. You can cut the potatoes whatever size you’d like, just please leave the skin, they add such wonderful flavour and they are packed full of minerals and the like. Having said that, if you’re using full sized russets and are going for a lighter, fluffier potato salad, then skins off is probably the best route, you can get some of that flavour still by throwing some of the skins into your steaming water (you’re welcome.)
You can easily just toss everything together and mix well, but i prefer to mix the dressing components together for better consistency and reduce the amount of trauma i cause the potatoes while they’re hot so they don’t break up and turn to mush. Simply mix all those ingredients together until well combined, then stir in your vegges, and let that sit while your potatoes cook.
You want to mix everything while the potatoes are still hot (another reason why i HIGHLY recommend not starting with whole potatoes, cutting hot potatoes would be no bueno) so that the flavours can penetrate into the potatoes and not just sit on the outside like wallflowers at a dance. This is especially critical is you’re opting for the super chunky version like me. That heat will also help to bloom the flavours of the other ingredients, really opening them up and giving you a far more nomtastic finished dish. Now, i’ve always been weirded out by the idea of using an egg-based mayo on hot potatoes and throwing them in the fridge, that whole “time in the danger zone” for food safety thing, but who is still using egg-based mayo? even if you are, the store bought stuff should be pretty okay with this, but you might want to skip using your precious homemade eggy stuff….i dunno, i’m sure it’s fine, better safe than sorry though.
Once everything it combined, throw it in the fridge and let it cool off and rest overnight (keep it uncovered until it’s cool, otherwise you might end up with condensation and that is a no no) so everything can settle in nicely, flavours will bloom and marry, potatoes will absorb yumminess and form their lovely resistant starches, and you’ll have a most divine bowl of potato salad to scarf down at your next gathering, or with a spoon by yourself, sometimes it’s okay not to share. Now, go forth and salad-ify some potatoes!