European-style potato salads (you might be most familiar with German potato salads, but you can also find others including French, Croatian, and Danish with a quick Google search) are typically made with a mustard vinaigrette, not mayonnaise bombs like standard American picnic fare. I’ve never liked the potato and mac salads that are made with mayonnaise, mostly because ingesting mayonnaise in any form other than mixed (sparingly) in chicken salad or as a thin layer on a sandwich makes me want to die a slow, painful death.
I do have a tendency towards hyperbole (grammar police: is that a sentence? edit: thank you Taylor!). Fritz loves (loves!) Waldorf salad, which is a terrible combination of all my least favorite things (iceberg lettuce, mayonnaise, and walnuts), and he only gets to eat it when his mom makes it for him (she must truly love him) because I refuse create such an abomination in my kitchen.
Side note: I’m sure Tharrie (Fritz’s mom) makes the best Waldorf salad that ever Waldorfed, it’s just the ingredients that I hate.
Anyway, this potato salad is different. I first was introduced to it when I lived on Long Island (land of mayonnaise mac salad) and two of my coworkers used to make it for office parties and barbecues (hi Stef and Kelly!). They would always make a lot and leave the leftovers in the fridge, which I would try to finish as fast as possible without anyone knowing I was the culprit.
Stefanie texted me this recipe a few days ago when I frantically told her I had a picnic emergency. I think Kelly may have found the original recipe on Pinterest? If anyone knows that source recipe, I’ll happily give it credit.
European-Style Potato Salad (serves 8-10)
- 12 C cooked cubed red potatoes
- 1/2 C minced red onion
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 1/3 C red wine vinegar
- 2-3 T grainy Dijon mustard (originally recipe called for 2 T)
- 2 T mayonnaise
- salt and pepper to taste
Scrub the potatoes, cube, and cook. You could cook the potatoes first, cut after and they may hold their shape better, but I am usually rushing (not the best planner, which is why everything reaches picnic emergency status), and they cook faster this way. For 12 C potatoes, I probably used three quarters of a five pound bag (you can do that math, thankyouverymuch).
While the potatoes are cooking, combine the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper) into a vinaigrette by whisking it all together. Drain the potatoes, place into a large bowl, and mix the vinaigrette in.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I’m willing to admit that I overcooked the potatoes a bit, but that is pretty typical of me since I dread the texture of undercooked potatoes. I would probably cook them the same way next time, because as I mixed in the vinaigrette, the potatoes mashed slightly and really incorporated the oil and vinegar. I’m also not a huge fan of seeing the food I’m eating sitting in oil, so I really liked the way these potatoes turned out.
This also still looks like your typical potato salad, which might make some kids willing to try it.
Fritz is a big fan of this salad, even as a self-professed “Mustard Hater” (though I have my doubts about that). The vinegar and mustard give it a really nice tang without being overpowering, and there’s no sickly post-picnic feeling I always get from eating too much mayonnaise.
The picnic also including an important first: this adorable baby Caleb eating corn on the cob for the first time.
He was a big fan.
I’ve also started reading a new book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Sometimes it’s hard to read exercise theory books because, as a physical therapist, I know a lot about exercise and hearing things like “getting toned”, “reshaping your muscles”, and diets recommending more protein than our body can even digest is really irritating. However, this book so far really appears to be following an evidence-based program, and is mostly just knocking down old myths and encouraging women to be more fearless and powerful in the gym to gain muscle. I’m never going to count my macros or go all-out with the diet plan (um, hello wine), but it is always nice to be reminded that I do need more protein than chocolate chip cookies, and that eating more calories can help shape me into a goddess (that’s what it says, anyway–wine, anyone?).
Anyone else read it? I like trying new ways to push myself fitness-wise once I get bored and fall into a rut. Insanity was a great kick in the butt last year (okay, two years ago), and this year I’m excited to be running more and now shifting my focus over to lifting like a badass.