This post was last updated on September 11th, 2017 at 04:18 pm
Whenever anyone tells me they are bringing potato salad to a potluck, I cringe. Usually that means a quart or gallon of potato salad from Smart and Final or Costco. The only discernible flavor? Mayonnaise! In my opinion, the big box stores have just ruined the reputation of potato salad.
Make your own and raise the bar. This recipe is a game changer. No ho hum flavors. No poor excuse of a potluck contribution. Folks will be asking you for the recipe instead of asking you to take the left-overs home with you.
Gourmet tomato spread is the hallmark ingredient in the recipe below. Make your own using directions below or use the recipe in the Just Tomatoes cookbook, an enduring inspiration in this kitchen.
The other significant flavor note in this recipe comes from capers. If capers are new to you or your family, go easy. Start with less than the recommended amount. Folks have an immediate reaction to capers. They adore them or they detest them. You will soon know where your family and friends fall on this issue.
Gourmet Tomato Spread
If you do not have your own dried garden tomatoes to use for the spread (what a shame!), then you have a second option. Purchase a jar of sun-dried tomatoes preserved in oil. Crush 3 cloves of garlic and sauté them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 1/4 cup of water to the sauté pan along with the contents of the jarred tomatoes. Simmer for about 2 minutes to soften the tomatoes. Run the mixture through the blender or food processor. You can process the spread into a totally smooth consistency or leave it a little chunky. I like the chunky. Store the leftover spread in the refrigerator in a tightly covered jar. Cover the mixture with about a half inch of olive oil and the spread will last for months.
Potato Salad Ingredients
- 2 pounds small waxy potatoes, red or yellow
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 3 Persian cucumbers roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup homemade mayo or good quality purchased mayo
- 2 tablespoons kefir cheese or sour cream
- 1/2 cup gourmet tomato spread
- Heavy cream for thinning, if necessary
- Salt and pepper to taste
Potato Salad Steps
- Scrub the potatoes and cook in boiling water or in steam. Cook until they are soft but still firm. If the potatoes are pretty much the same size, they will be cooked at the same time. If not, you will need to remove the smaller, cooked potatoes and leave the larger ones for more cook time.
- When the potatoes have reached the desired doneness, rinse them in cold water and pour them out to cool. If you leave them un-rinsed and piled on each other, they will continue to cook in the stored up heat. You could end up serving mashed potatoes as a result. Not bad, just not what we are intending with this dish.
- Peel the potatoes or don’t. That’s up to you. Dice them into bite-sized pieces.
- Gently toss the capers, cucumber, and shallots in with the potatoes.
- Mix the dressing in a small bowl. Thin it with cream if necessary to achieve a pouring consistency.
- Pour about half the dressing over the salad and mix gently. You may want more dressing on the salad or not. Suit your own tastes. Check for salt and add some if need be. Depending on the saltiness of the mayonnaise and tomato spread, you may need very little. Grind some fresh pepper over the top.
If you happen to have dressing left, use it on sandwiches, as a dip, as a sauce for roasted or steamed vegetables, as a topping on baked potatoes, or……… Yes, have fun!
However you serve this salad, be lavish with the garnish to complement the lavish flavors. In the accompanying picture you can see we used garden tomato, fresh herbs, and black olives. What a feast!