My husband loves potatoes. It’s a true love that began when he was a wee one fed piles of the mashed kind by his grandmother and mother at every meal. Every. Single. Meal.
I’ve always been wary of attempting his family’s mashed recipe. I’m equally shy of his family’s potato salad recipe, a dish his aunt always brought to my home for special summer events, sweetly covering for my fear of the notorious creamy potato goodness. I’m not scared of potatoes or mayonnaise. I’m more scared of not getting it right in front of his gigantic Irish-American family.
Today, with his family no where in sight, I wanted potato salad, damn it, so I decided to make up my own recipe. As I boiled and chopped and mixed, my husband inquired as to the whereabouts of the mayonnaise. I reassured him, “No mayo. No problem. You’ll love it.” He buried his head in his coffee mug and muttered something about his grandmother, but I simply said, “I can’t hear any mumbling right now!” He shuffled out to the barn and left me to my mission.
I created this recipe on the fly and really adore it. I can actually taste potato, two kinds, red and purple. I lick my lips to the lemony flavor absorbed into the salad due to loads of lemon zest and juice. The chopped vidalia onions are soft and sweet, while the chopped garlic scapes provide a snappy crunch. After much internal debate about basil or cilantro, I decided my tomato bruschetta would swim in basil, so these potatoes deserved some of that fresh cilantro.
You can really mix these ingredients together to your taste. I’ve provided some guidelines and what I did, but it’s fun to add and taste as you go along.
My husband enjoyed this side dish very much. He easily got past the no-mayo thing. Alas, he couldn’t get past why I wouldn’t think to add crumbled bacon to the dish. He’s right; I bet that would taste great. But while bacon is pleasing even to many vegetarians I know, the sort coming to dinner today were “real” vegetarians who couldn’t be bothered with pork products. He feels there’s something intrinsically wrong with anyone who won’t eat bacon, but that’s another post for another day.
Try this dish; it’s delicious.
Lemon Cilantro Potato Salad
- 3-4 lbs potatoes, both purple and red
- 4 garlic scapes, chopped
- 1 large vidalia onion, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- Lemon zest, from 2 lemons
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon, dijon mustard
- 6 pours, olive oil (about 6 tablespoons)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender to a fork. These took different times as the purple potatoes were much smaller. In general, the potatoes were fork-tender within 15-25 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. As they cool, make the vinagrette.
- Put the lemon juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper in a little jar that has a lid. I used about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake until well combined.
- Chop or slice the potatoes into your desired shape. I cut them into quarters. In a large bowl, place the potatoes, scapes, onion, cilantro and lemon zest. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and watch as the warm potatoes suck up the tangy dressing. Toss everything very well and leave to marinate at room temperature until the rest of your meal is ready to be served. Taste just before serving and re-season, as needed, with salt and pepper.
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