Daring Potato Salad?

At first thought, Potato Salad doesn't sound like all that much of a challenge.  I decided to re-think the same old same old, and see how my regular recipe could be improved.

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

Normally, I boil the potatoes, add some chopped veggies and toss everything with mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, etc. before refrigerating.  Just for the heck of it I checked my old Joy of Cooking to see how far off I've been from a standard.  Low and behold, the correct technique should be to toss the still warm potatoes with vinaigrette, let them cool a bit, add the vegetables if any, refrigerate, then add your mayonnaise dressing when the salad is cold.   Brilliant idea, as the oil and vinegar, plus herbs can be absorbed by the warm potatoes, before adding any mayonnaise.

This time I decided to add fresh fennel, shredded with my mandoline (only getting a little of my finger) and lots of dill from our garden, red bell pepper for color, texture and flavor, and green onions, both the white and some of the greens.  The fennel is fantastic in there, and the dill.  Well, everything actually.  We loved this version.  The mayonnaise was a homemade Aoili, to which I added whole milk Greek yogurt and prepared mustard.

Potato Salad with Fennel and Red Bell Pepper

 For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive or walnut oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

4 lbs. new or small red potatoes
1 fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thinly
4 green onions, white part minced with equal amount of the greens
1 clove garlic, smashed  (optional)
1 small red bell pepper or half of a large one
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
additional salt and pepper to taste
fresh dill for garnish

Shake the dressing ingredients together in a glass jar and set aside.  Wash and boil the potatoes whole, then drain and let cool enough to peel and slice.  Toss with the dressing and let cool down a bit.  Add in the green onions and garlic while still warm.  Refrigerate until well chilled.  Whisk together the aoili or mayonnaise, yogurt, and mustard, then add in to the potatoes your remaining veggies, parsley, egg and the mayonnaise mixture. Stir well to combine everything and taste for additional seasonings.  Garnish with dill.

This fabulous Potato Salad was the perfect BBQ accompaniment last week-end.  Just some pickled vegetables on the side and bread with our grilled brats and teriayaki chicken.  Yum yumo.  You can see what the other cooks did with this challenge at The Daring Kitchen. Also linking with Hearth and Soul Blog Hop for their 1st Anniversary.


Swathi said...

This is indeed daring one. I love potato salad but afraid of mayonnaise. I know both love and fear cannot go together.

Kirsten Lindquist said...

Yum! I'm a huge fan of potatoes and especially potato salad. THis sounds delish!

My name is Andy. said...

That sounds like a great combination of flavours.

Melynda said...

Delicious and different! Thanks for linking with the Hearth n Soul hop.

Don't Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys! said...

I love fennel! Your potato salad looks tasty! Good job!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i love potato salad in the summer - so refreshing; that touch of fennel is very cretan - we have fennel fronds growing wild all over the island and it's one of the most popular herbs in cretan cooking

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Only a bit of your finger - don't scare me. I haven't attempted to use my newly acquired mandoline yet. I love the fennel in this!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

hi claudia
you were one of the lucky book prize winners in my draw for a book about cretan cookery! please send me your mailing address so i can send the book to you!
ciao, maria

Claudia said...

Thanks Maria, I am looking forward to cooking Cretan soon.

Joanne said...

In my opinion most potato salad could use a redo! And you did a fabulous job here.

Chaya said...

We do take potato salad for granted. This is such a fine take on it. I like what you have added to the potatoes and how you changed the sequence.

Lovely dish.

My Little Space said...

Hi Claudia, thank you for visiting my blog earlier. You have a very lovely blog here. Btw, I'm a huge fan of potato salad and yours looks really inviting. Thanks for sharing. Hope to hear from you more often.
Have a great day ahead.
chers, Kristy