vegan potato salad with herbs
No mayo was used in the making of this Vegan Potato Salad with Herbs. Just a simple oil and vinegar dressing and a ton of herbs turn this make-ahead summer side dish into a recipe greater than the sum of its parts.
Who doesn’t love behind the scenes footage? I’ve got some for you today.
But it’s maybe not what you think. It’s of something else entirely than those pics of photo set-ups or messy kitchens. No, it’s about a working draft, and how Google crushed my dreams of becoming the next thug kitchen. Today’s BTS is about the working draft of this Vegan Potato Salad Recipe with Herbs.
Yep, up until a week or so ago, this was recipe had been called: Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad with A Shit Ton of Herbs.
I put it on my editorial calendar months ago, because that name summed up the concept I had in my head. It said exactly what the recipe was—potato salad with no-mayo, just a simple oil and vinegar dressing, and a shit ton of herbs. So why change it? I maybe have had a mini day dream about actually calling this recipe that, but I knew I’d have to change it when it came time to share it with other humans.
Finally, when I got the recipe just right (the sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch of sugar where the clinchers, BTW) it was time to send the draft off to my cross tester. That’s when I knew another set of eyeballs were going to be looking at the recipe. It was time to give it a “real” name. So I changed it to Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad with Herbs.
Except I forgot to change the file name.
Since not a single thing goes unnoticed by my dear cross tester (love her!!) she noticed the name, and noted her appreciation of it in her report. Ha!
So I almost actually changed it back. But then there’s this annoying thing called Google. And SEO. That’s Search Engine Optimization, for the rock dwellers. It’s something all food bloggers obsess over. Basically, besides Pinterest, it’s how people find our recipes, so we play by Google’s rules. In other words, Google rules the earth!
And uh, apparently, it turns out that people don’t actually search for “a shit ton of herbs.”
Hopes = Dashed.
Nope, they search for things like “no-mayo” potato salad (Hey Google! This is a no mayo potato salad!) And they search for Vegan potato salad (YES! This is a vegan potato salad.) Sooo, things weren’t looking good for my working title.
Turns out that people don’t even search for “oil and vinegar potato salad” that much, and much bigger fish have got that search term covered. Damn.
So I decided to call it Vegan Potato Salad with Herbs. I am so boring, but in my defense I am a slave to Google and I just wanted you to find this recipe. Because it is yummy as shit. Yo.
What Kind of Potatoes to Use For Potato Salad
- Waxy Vs Floury: There are two types of potatoes, waxy and floury. Waxy potatoes are those that have thin skin and creamy flesh. Floury potatoes have thicker rougher skin and fluffy interiors (think Russet Baking Potatoes.)
- Why Not Russets: While that fluffy interior makes for an awesome baked potato, it doesn’t work well for potato salad.
- Examples of waxy potatoes are: Fingerlings, Youkon Gold, Red Bliss, Purple Potatoes, White Chef’s Potatoes etc. Any of these waxy thin skinned potatoes would work for this potato salad. The only thing you need to know is that you have to cut them into 1 1/2 inch chunks.
How To Make Potato Salad Without Mayo
I have nothing against mayo in a potato salad. Especially when it is cut with Greek Yogurt to make it lower in calories and saturated fat, like in this red white and blue potato salad. But I realize there are lots of people who can’t stand mayo, or who avoid it because they are following a plant based diet. I also happen to love an oil and vinegar based potato salad because I love the bright acidity of the dressing, especially when paired with barbecue fare. Here are some tips to making potato salad without the usual mayo:
- Don’t Be Afraid of Flavor: While creamy potato salads are loved for their creaminess, a potato salad needs a kick of big bold flavor to give it appeal. That’s why you need to start with some sort of allium in the dressing. In this case, since the potato salad is all about the green herbs, I used scallions (or chives) for that onion flavor.
- Use A Big Bold Dressing: Potatoes, because they’re so starchy can be a real flavor sink. So you’ll actually need to compensate for that by boosting up the dressing more than you think you would have to. For the four pound batch, you’ll need a quarter cup of red wine vinegar and a half cup of oil. When you first taste it, it may seem too strong, but as the potatoes cool with the dressing and soak it up, you’ll notice that it is just right.
- Add A Ton of Herbs: You knew this was coming, obvs. The fresh herbs in this recipe make all the difference in boosting up the flavor and interest.
- Extra Flavor and Texture Boosters: Read more below about what I added in for extras flavor and texture boosters, and how they help turn bland potatoes into a recipe people will ask for. The point is, you don’t want your vegan potato salad to seem boring do you? Nope. So that’s why you gotta add on the crunch and flavor from celery, sun dried tomatoes, mustard and a pinch of sugar.
Tips for Making Vegan Potato Salad
Leave the Skin On: I leave the skin on the potatoes because it increases the fiber and nutrients in each serving, making this a little healthier.
Hot Potatoes: As with my Italian Pasta Salad Recipe (also vegan) I mixed the hot potatoes with the dressing and let that cool before adding in the rest of the ingredients. This allows the starch to absorb the dressing and makes the potatoes more flavorful.
Whole Grain Mustard: I love using whole grain mustard (that’s an affiliate link) in this recipe because it adds flavor, while not overpowering the overall herb forward flavor profile.
Add a Pinch of Sugar: The flavor of this combo can come off as slightly bitter, so I found a tiny bit of sugar really helped to balance that out. It doesn’t taste sweet at all, but makes the bitter taste fall away.
Finely Chop the Sun Dried Tomatoes and Celery Hearts: These items are great when they’re finely chopped because they cling to the potatoes and add to the flavor and texture in each bite. They’re a really nice flavor and texture boost!
To Make this Vegan Potato Salad Ahead of Time:
- You can do most/all of the work for this potato salad ahead. Here’s how:
- Toss the steamed potatoes with the dressing and cool it while tossing. Then cover and chill up to a day ahead.
- You can also chop all of the other ingredients and store them separately in the fridge, then toss everything together when you’re ready to serve.
- Note: The vinegar in the dressing does make the green of the herbs and scallions darken if you make the whole thing start to finish ahead of time and they get pretty wilted. But if that isn’t a concern to you, then it’s fine to actually hold it for two days ahead. Simply stir again before serving. The flavor improves as it sits in the fridge!
No mayo was used to make this vegan potato salad with herbs. Just a simple oil and vinegar dressing and herbs turn this summer side dish into a treat.
- 4 pounds medium red or gold potatoes, peeled if desired and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ cup finely diced celery hearts
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped fresh chives or minced scallions
- ¼ cup finely chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- Steam potatoes in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer attachment, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 13 to 17 minutes.
- Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar (if using), salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the hot potatoes and toss to coat. Let cool, stirring occasionally until room temperature, about 45 minutes.
- Add celery, parsley, scallions, sun dried tomatoes (if using), and dill and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 12 hours.
To make this potato salad in advance, simply prepare through step 2, cover and refrigerate up to one day ahead. Continue with step three as directed.
Look for potatoes that are smooth skinned, firm to the touch and do not have any sprouting “eyes.” For potato salad use waxy potatoes like red, yellow, white or purple instead of russet (baking) potatoes for the best finished texture.
- Serving Size: 2/3 cup
- Calories: 249
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 71 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 32 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg