Memorial Day is traditionally when grills are fired up all over the country for the first BBQ of the year. Living in SoCal, we get to fire up our grills just about any time of the year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t participate in the the ritual of having a celebratory outdoor barbeque in solidarity with our fellow citizens. We do!
This year, I’ll be making Impossible Burgers, as part of my new food lifestyle. And on the side? This fantastic vegan friendly potato salad that defies the bad rap potato salad usually gets. I mean, who can blame the mediocre press of typical supermarket Deli counter potato salad? I have always wondered how a food product could be too sweet and too sour at the same time – not in a good way. Plus the few sad carrots swimming in a bucket of mayonnaise.
Homemade is the way to go.
This recipe uses small, skin-on Yukon Gold potatoes, though small red or white potatoes would work quite well. Vegan mayo – I like Vegenaise or Best Foods brand – of course, feel free to use the mayonnaise that you have on hand. White champagne vinegar and Meyer lemon for a nice acid pop that isn’t too sweet. A smidge of Dijon to bring the dressing together. Dill, fennel fronds, Italian parsley and capers, in addition to celery and red onion, for a sophisticated flavor profile. Hey, when has potato salad ever been referred to as sophisticated? This is definitely a “grown-up” potato salad.
All of the vegetables and herbs are available at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market, so get in line to shop on Sunday for Monday’s dinner.
Please note that I don’t rinse the potatoes with cold water once I strain them into a colander. That’s why you need to cook until just fork tender as they will keep cooking. I like to toss the warm potatoes with the dressing for better absorption. If the potatoes fall apart a bit, no worries, it adds a melt in your mouth creaminess.
The potato salad can be served warm or cooled in the fridge, if you want to make a day ahead. Delicious either way.
A healthy and safe Holiday to all!
Memorial Day Potato Salad
3 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in quarters or halves depending on size, with skin on
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 T champagne vinegar
1 T fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 t kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper (about a dozen good cracks)
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
2 T fresh chopped Italian parsley
2 T fresh chopped fennel fronds (optional)
2 T drained jarred capers in brine
3/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup small-diced red onion
Put cut up potatoes in a large saucepan and just cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add a heaping teaspoon of kosher salt then lower heat and boil gently (also known as a rapid simmer) for 10-12 minutes, until just fork tender. Immediately drain in a colander and let cool about 15 minutes.
While potatoes are cooking, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to combine so there are no mayo lumps. Taste for seasoning. Set dressing aside.
Prep the herbs and veggies while potatoes cook and cool.
When potatoes are warm but not hot, put in a very large mixing bowl. Add dressing and mix gently until potatoes are just coated. Add herbs, capers and vegetables and carefully fold in until combined. If potatoes seem to absorb a lot of dressing, you may need to make a bit more to moisten the salad. Serve warm or cold.