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.
- 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
- 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.