Growing up, I sort of felt like potato salad was a waste of plate space at a picnic or potluck.
For the most part, I feel that way still, but I’ve learned there are more versions of potato salad than I’d ever known. While there’s the supermarket variety–overcooked potatoes thick with mayo and not much else–there are versions with and without eggs, pickles, onions, mustard, or vinaigrette.
This is a gorgeous potato salad. Perfect at a barbecue, picnic, or potluck, this salad also makes a fabulous addition to lunch. It feels just a little fancy with thin slices of potato (especially when you use several kinds of potato!) and thin, crisp-tender green beans. Coated with a simple vinaigrette, and finished with a little fresh dill, it looks as lovely as it tastes.
I certainly don’t claim this as the only great potato salad out there–I’m learning that potato salad simply means a salad with potatoes in it–it’s quite good. Probably the best I’ve tasted. Everyone has their own favorite, but you should add this one to your rotation.
A few notes on the recipe:
I really think adding something pickled is essential to this recipe, so I recommend not skipping it. I love Bubbie’s brand dill pickles. They’re sold refrigerated and get their tang from being cultured. This makes them probiotic, meaning they’ll nourish your digestive tract like yogurt would. Capers or cornichons also work. Use your favorite!
Confession: I actually don’t love eating raw red onions, but I think they give an AWESOME flavor to this salad without killing your breath for a year. I keep them in long strands that are easy to slide to the side if I don’t want to eat them. If you prefer a tiny dice to distribute that flavor even further, go right ahead!
This recipe will make more vinaigrette than you’ll likely need. Toss it in with green salad our pour some over grilled chicken. It will keep in the refrigerator about 1 week.
1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes (I like a blend of red, yellow, and purple potatoes)
1/2 lb green beans, halved (I especially like the thin haricots verts if you can find them)
1/4 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and sliced into long strands
2–3 medium dill pickles, finely diced (or 1/4–1/3 cup capers or minced cornichons)
Additional fresh dill, optional (as needed)
Optional: 3 eggs
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1–2 Tbsp fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste (be generous!)
Prepare an ice bath (a bowl of water filled with ice and cold water)
Wash and scrub potatoes. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5-8 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced fairly easily with a sharp knife. Use a slotted spoon and transfer potatoes to the ice bath.
Bring the water in the saucepan back up to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer green beans to the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
If using eggs, bring the water back up to a boil. Add eggs and cook 6-7 minutes (for a soft-cooked egg). Transfer eggs to ice bath.
Thinly slice potatoes (about 1/4 inch thick) and place in a large bowl. Transfer green beans, onions, and pickle to the bowl with the potatoes. If using eggs, peel eggs and chop them up (the yolks will likely still be soft. This is great!). Add them to the bowl with the other salad ingredients.
Add vinaigrette ingredients to a small lidded jar and shake to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
Pour enough dressing to coat the potato salad well. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or fresh dill as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette in the refrigerator.