Potato salad with asparagus and herbs

A picnic-perfect side dish!

I adore potato salad and enjoy making – and eating – it in many different variations. This one takes full advantage of fresh asparagus; as the seasons progress, I’ll likely swap in gently steamed sugar snap peas for a fun alternative. I call this picnic-perfect because on a warm day, it’s safer to transport than one with a mayonnaise-based dressing. If radishes aren’t your thing, julienned red pepper will add a nice pop of colour. If you’re looking for other ideas, check out this classic potato salad, this Greek-inspired version or this fun warm poutine potato salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.35 kg) small potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons (28 g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 large shallot, finely minced
  • 14 asparagus spears
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) Dijon mustard (regular or grainy)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) rice or cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) maple syrup or honey
  • Few pinches salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (58 g) thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup (14 g) each fresh dill, parsley and chives, finely chopped

Method

  • Wash potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3/4 inch or 2 cm). Place in a pot and add just enough water to cover by about a half inch (1.25 cm). Sprinkle with the kosher salt then bring to a boil and cook until just tender (don’t overcook as the potatoes will fall apart when being dressed). Drain well and transfer to a large bowl; sprinkle with minced shallot and set aside to cool.
  • While potatoes are cooking, bring a kettle full of water to a boil. Snap woody ends off asparagus spears and lay them in a single layer in a large baking or casserole dish. Pour the boiling water over top and place a lid on the dish (use a baking sheet if necessary). Let sit until the water has cooled, about 10 – 12 minutes, then test the asparagus – it should be tender-firm. Rinse asparagus under cold water then wrap in a kitchen towel to dry then slice diagonally into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together Dijon, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper until well combined. While steadily whisking the dressing, add the oil very slowly (it should take 4 – 5 minutes to add it all if you are going slowly enough), just a drop or two at a time. The mixture will emulsify (thicken and bind) as you whisk. Set aside. Note: you can also use an immersion (stick) or regular blender to make the dressing, however the oil will still need to be dribbled in very slowly.
  • Once the potatoes have cooled, add the asparagus and radishes to the bowl. Toss gently, then drizzle 3/4 of the dressing over top and toss again. Refrigerate for 1 – 6 hours, then stir in herbs and add a bit more of the dressing if the salad seems dry, then serve immediately.

Serves 8 – 10.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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