I never truly appreciated a potato salad, until I prepared this one. This potato salad dish is a take on typical French potato salads, which contain no mayo and lots of herbs. I opted for lemon juice instead of vinegar for a wonderfully fresh-tasting salad.
Unlike traditional potato salads that are slathered in mayonnaise, this red potato salad is softly creamy and amazingly mayo-free. This potato salad dish is special diet friendly, too. It’s vegan, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free for anyone to enjoy.
Can I go ahead and call it the perfect picnic potato salad?
This potato salad is for my fellow last-minute individuals. When you’re scrambling to make yourself look good, attempting to cobble together a side dish worth sharing, and letting the dog out all at the same time… Potato salad to the rescue!
This recipe is surprisingly simple and quick to create. I hope this potato salad becomes your go-to potluck meal, as well as a typical side dish at your dinner table. It goes wonderfully with burgers, sandwiches, and much more.
Potato Salad Tips
After some trial and error, I’ve uncovered several crucial tips to making superb potato salad.
To prepare the greatest mayo-free potato salad, retain some potato cooking water before draining the potatoes. Then, blend the herbs and olive oil with the starchy reserved water. You’ll end up with a creamy emulsification that fills the potatoes with fresh taste.
Another trick is to slice your potatoes before boiling, rather than afterward. That way, the potatoes don’t break down into mush when you’re tossing the salad later. Plus, your potatoes cook faster this way (five minutes!). We can thank the experts at America’s Test Kitchen for this technique.
- 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus about 2 tablespoons more for garnish
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped green onions, plus about 2 tablespoons thinly sliced for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine sliced potatoes and salt. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are easily pierced by a paring knife and pulled out with little resistance, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
- In a small food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, ⅓ cup parsley, ⅓ cup green onions, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Process until the herbs and garlic have been chopped into little pieces. Then, while running the food processor, pour in the reserved cooking water and process just until blended.
- (If you don’t have a food processor or blender, just finely chop the parsley and onions and whisk the dressing together until the oil is fully incorporated.)
- Drizzle the potatoes with the herbed olive oil mixture and gently mix to combine. (It will look like you’ve poured in too much dressing, but don’t worry, the potatoes will soak it up!) Let the potatoes rest for ten minutes, gently tossing every few minutes.
- Add the celery to the bowl, along with a couple tablespoons each of additional chopped parsley and green onions. Toss again. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. This salad is best served within a few hours, but will keep in the refrigerator for about three days.
Recipe roughly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook and The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon.
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: I love my 11-cup Cuisinart food processor (affiliate link) (affiliate link).