They Call Me Tater Salad: Dante’s Potato Salad

JARED’S NOTE: For reference on the title, see here.

The Sister and I trade messages each year on the Fourth of July under the heading of “4th of July Memories.” They are the snapshot memories of less than memorable things that happened to us as children on our nation’s birthday. In the past, I have noted that our parents never really bought into sunscreen and bugspray, leaving us sunburned and bugbitten. She has reminded me of our annual illegal fireworks displays and our father, who would light the various and sundry items and break into a fat guy sprint to get away from the combustive device sticking out of a Molson Golden bottle. She also brought up our family’s embrace of mayonnaise and how every salad at the picnic table was either a mayo salad with potatoes or pasta (or an olive oil salad with vegetables).

Now, I love mayo but it is possible that I have consumed too much of it in salad form for one lifetime. If I do go for the mayo-based potato salad, I’m likely going to get one spiked with mustard, brown sugar or herbs just to change things up. But, to tell the truth, I would rather have a niçoise or mayo-less version, such as the one below created by Brooklyn chef Joe Carroll, that makes its flavors from vinegar and mustard.

I made a half-batch of this salad, which worked perfectly for The Wife and I, but it is very easily scalable both up and down.

They Call Me Tater Salad: Dante’s Potato Salad
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp., olive oil, divided
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes, cut into fork-sized pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped chives

Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion in the oil, tossing to coat in the oil, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Do not brown them. Remove the onions from heat and let stand.

Add the potatoes to a stockpot or large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of kosher salt and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and rinse with cold tap water to cool.

Whisk the mustard, cayenne, and vinegar together vigorously to blend, then slowly whisk in the remaining olive oil. Add a two-fingered pinch of salt and a couple of turns of your black pepper grinder and stir together.

Toss the onions into the dressing, then add the chives and potatoes. Use a large spoon to mix the salad, coating everything with the dressing.

Serve at room temperature.

Adapted lightly from Tasting Table and Joe Carroll

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