The first time I had this potato salad it was the night before my wedding day. We had our rehearsal dinner in my in-laws’ backyard and a good friend (and now famous chef – I’m sure he has forgotten all about us and is cooking barefoot somewhere tropical) made our meal. He made a classic potato salad… red potatoes, red onions, mayo and robust stone ground mustard. Not that creamy and pasty potato salad of potlucks and picnics. No, this was chunky, red potato salad, full flavour version.
What he taught me that weekend – because my husband and I were his sous-chefs – was to toss my boiled and still warm potatoes with some vinegar and salt. It brings flavour to the otherwise bland potato. He also taught me that this salad is a must during the summer. It goes with all BBQs and it doesn’t matter what else you are serving, you need to have this potato salad. This is the only way I have made potato salad since.
But this is #SundaySupper and Summer BBQ Sunday Supper at that, so even though this salad is perfectly good with boiled or steamed potatoes, I felt I needed to use the grill in some way. I decided to grill the potatoes and the results were rich and delicious. Grilling the potatoes brings a smokiness and a sweetness to the potatoes. The potato skins blister and crisp just enough to add a wonderful texture.
When the potatoes come off the grill cut them in half (quarters if they are really big but leave some size to them). Yes they will be still hot and hard to handle. Then tossed the still warm potatoes with a splash of white wine vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. While they sit they absorb the flavours of the vinegar and salt, they cool and you can get the other stuff ready.
Please use stone ground mustard. Whatever you do, don’t go with regular yellow mustard. That stuff is for hot dogs (veggie or otherwise). It’s just not appropriate on these potatoes.
This is a salad that you can adjust to exactly how you like it. I like onions, so I add lots. I don’t like mayo so I keep it to a minimum. As for the type of mayo. Veganaise is wonderful and keeps this dish vegan, but feel free to use your favourite.
- 1 pound mini red potatoes, scrubbed and air-dried
- 1 tablespoon grape-seed oil (or olive oil), just enough to coat the potatoes
- generous splash white wine vinegar
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced in half moons, approximately half a cup
- ¼ mayonnaise, your choice, add more to taste
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sharp, stone-ground mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Preheat grill to 350 degrees, you will cook these on a covered grill. The temperature of your grill should read 350-375. Reduce flames to low to avoid scorching.
- In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with oil and then transfer to a grill basket. Place on the grill, and cover with lid. Every 5 minutes or so, check the potatoes and give them a quick shake. Replace lid. The potatoes will take anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size and the heat of the grill. A little bit of char is a good thing. A little bit. Test the potatoes by inserting a knife or a fork into their flesh, it should slide easily with no resistance.
- Once potatoes come off the grill, all them to cool only to the point where you can handle them. Cut each potato in half or quarters, should be largish bite-sized pieces, and toss into a large bowl. Toss still warm potatoes with white wine vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. Allow them to cool a bit longer at this point.
- Directly to the potatoes, add mayo, mustard, and red onions. Toss well to combine. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper, as needed, and fresh chopped parsley.
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