Bold claim, but one bite and we think you’ll agree!
Between picnics and barbecues, potato salad is pretty much ubiquitous during summer. Traditional potato salads are mayo-based, but I think sometimes keeping things simple really is the best way. Nothing against mayo, but mayo-free versions give other flavors a chance to shine.
This potato salad has a bright acidic tang from lemon, rice wine vinegar and capers, and rounds out the flavor with fresh dill and green onion. It doesn’t take much prep work and keeps well in the fridge if you just want to have an easy side on hand for a few days.
You can use any small potatoes such as fingerlings, baby reds or yukon golds, but I love using mixed potatoes because I’m a sucker for presentation. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry mixed baby potatoes, try the farmers market – you can usually find a nice mix there.
There’s no need to stick hard and fast to this recipe – don’t be afraid to adjust to your personal taste. If you love lemon, bump it up a little. If you want to mix in some other herbs or add in extras like black olives, go for it.
world’s best mayo-free potato salad
- 1 1/2 lbs small potatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- rice wine vinegar
- juice from 1/2 large lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- ground pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped green onion
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 2 tbsp capers
1. Submerge the potatoes in a large bowl of cold water and set aside to soak. This will help rinse some of the dirt off, making them easier to scrub.
2. In the meantime, fill a soup pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
3. Scrub the potatoes and boil until a fork slides in easily, approximately 25 minutes.
4. Drain the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch chunks while still hot, leaving the skin on.
5. Immediately transfer the potatoes into a large bowl and add the rice wine vinegar, lemon, salt, pepper, green onion, dill, and capers.
6. Stir gently until thoroughly mixed. The heat will cause the potatoes to break down into a smoother consistency with larger chunks of potatoes mixed throughout.
Transfer to the refrigerator and keep chilled until immediately before serving.
Summer Mayo Phobia? We feel you. It’s a little ironic that summer is potato salad high season, considering the whole (completely valid) “is it still safe to eat?” concern that crops up after it has hung out unrefrigerated for a few hours. A common misconception is that the safety risk is due to the mayo going unrefrigerated, but the acid from the lemon in commercial mayo helps curb the growth of bacteria. It’s actually the potatoes that cause the risk!
Since there’s even more acid in this version of potato salad, better safe than sorry – keep this baby cold the whole time. Leave the bowl on ice or bring it out of the cooler only for serving, (just like you’re supposed to with every potato salad). When in doubt, break the portions up into a couple of smaller containers. Better to have to refill than to roll the dice!
Heather is a midwesterner living in Los Angeles and enjoys concocting weird flavor combinations and exploring delicious ethnic foods. She blogs at foodforfunandpleasure and knows her way around the spice cabinet like nobody’s business.