Potato Salad (without mayo!!!)

3 pounds red bliss potatoes, unpeeled, cut into bite size pieces

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/3 cup , plus 2-3 tablespoons, red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon or brown deli mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

3 scallions, finely sliced

1/2 medium red onion, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons capers, drained (optional)

salt

black pepper

  1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until potatoes are almost cooked through.  Drain and place into a large bowl.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. In a bowl, combine the garlic, 2/3 cup vinegar, mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Then, VERY slowly, drizzle in the oil, until the vinaigrette is combined. Set aside.
  3. Add vinaigrette, scallions, red onion, capers, and salt and pepper to the warm (but not hot) potatoes.
  4. Chill for at least two hours.
  5. Before serving, adjust flavor with remaining vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Makes approximately 10 servings.

Potato salad notes for success:

  • If you cannot find red bliss potatoes, use larger red potatoes, or russet potatoes.  Avoid Yukon gold potatoes, as they can turn mushy in the salad
  • After the potatoes have been cooked and drained, spread them out in a sheet pan (or two) with sides, to help them cool a bit faster and more evenly. This will also help keep them from breaking apart of they’re cooled in a big pile in a bowl. Once they have cooled a bit, but are still warm to the touch, add the vinaigrette, red onions, scallions, and capers.
    • If you want to cool the potato salad faster, return it to the sheet pans after the vinaigrette and other ingredients have been added. Cool to room temperature (approximately 15 minutes). Then place in a bowl and refrigerate.

I’m baaaaaaack….

You might have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a while.  You haven’t?  Ouch.  But I have a very good reason. A few days ago, I submitted the manuscript to my publisher, Storey Publishing, for the first of the three books that I’m writing for them. Yes, the first one is the knife book. I was such a smartass. I thought since I knew so much about kitchen knives that this would be the easiest of the three books to write. I’m now figuring that if that was the easiest, then I’m doomed on the other two.

Okay, I’m not doomed. But I am ready. The reason the knife book was harder to do than I thought is because it was really very complex: explaining how to hold knives, what to do with your guide (think non-knife) hand, how to still have your fingers when you’re done using a mandoline, how not to grate your knuckles when grating food, etc.  There’s a lot to it. And, might I add, it was a blast to write all these things I’ve been thinking and talking about for years.

And why are knives so importation? Because almost ever day, someone tells me how uncomfortable they are with their knife skills. This is true with new, as well as experienced cooks. I really am excited at the idea of my helping people becoming more confident about their cooking skills.

But alas, there’s no rest for the slothful. I’m now underway with my next book, on vinegars.  In the meantime, try this recipe for potato salad without mayo. Yes, it has vinegar. And yes, it’s really good. In addition to the recipe, you can also watch me make this, and an orzo salad, on Mass Appeal, on our local NBC affiliate, WWLP.

See you on TV!