I always HATED potato salad growing up.
In my neck of the woods (the American South), potato salad was usually alarmingly YELLOW.
It was also alarmingly SWEET, with both sugar and sweet pickle relish.
It was ALWAYS drowning in mayo. (I think potato salad was originally conceived as an excuse for eating mayo!) Unless it was drowning in Miracle Whip, then it was even worse!
It usually had hard-boiled eggs, and was often topped with bacon crumbles.
My mom didn’t subscribe to bacon and eggs in potato salad, but her potato salad used to be sweet, mayonnaise-y, and pickle-y, too.
Then she underwent a revolution. She became a Richard Simmons devotee, lost over 100 pounds on his “Deal-A-Meal” plan, and began subscribing to Cooking Light. Goodbye, fried chicken and fried squash. Hello, grilled chicken breasts and sauteed squash.
My stepdad was not too happy about the (non-fried) turn of events, but Mama had turned a corner and wasn’t about to abandon her newfound healthy way of cooking.
Mama also started making this potato salad. I’m not sure if it was a Cooking Light recipe or her own creation. I suspect it was a bit of both. It was a pretty radical potato salad for the time and place. For starters, it wasn’t yellow at all. It was salty and savory, not sweet. It tasted of dill, but there was not a single pickle. She also used yogurt instead of mayo, which probably saved about 1000 fat calories.
I was thrilled when I came across her recipe recently. The only thing I had to do to veganize it was substitute Vegenaise for the yogurt.
- 5-6 large Red Potatoes (they need to be red potatoes; use regular Idaho or Russet baking potatoes and you’ll have mashed potato salad)
- 1 Vidalia Onion, chopped finely
- 3 – 4 stalks Celery, chopped. If your stalks have leaves, add them as well.
- 1 cup Veganaise
- 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard (not regular yellow mustard)
- 1-2 teaspoons dried Dill Weed
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 tablespoons of Pickle Juice from a jar of dill pickles
- 1/4 cup chopped Fresh Parsley
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Scrub the red potatoes and boil for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from water and let cool slightly. Mama used to leave the skins on her potatoes, but a lot of people are very peculiar about potato skins now, so I peel mine. Chop into whatever size chunks you like and put in large mixing bowl.
- Add the vidalia onion and the celery, but don’t stir.
- Make the dressing with the Veganaise, Dijon Mustard, Dill Weed, Garlic Powder, and Pickle Juice. Stir well, then add it to the bowl and mix very gently.
- Give it a good grinding of black pepper. Taste before you add salt, though – the dijon mustard and dill pickle juice have already added saltiness. You’ll probably need a little salt, but not much. (If you’re not from the South, and not used to making cold salads – potato or pasta or egg or chicken or tuna – don’t worry if it tastes a little bland right now. You’ll be amazed how much flavors intensify and meld after a little time spent in the fridge.)
- Add the parsley to the top.
- Put it in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
- Stir gently, serve, and eat!
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