Making Better Salads Without a Recipe

I love this series on about making better salads without a recipe on Food 52.  We’re coming into spring/summer salad season and these “recipes/suggestions” for making a basic vinaigrette as well as vegetable, meat and grain salads will certainly come in so handy…you’ll want to bookmark this post!!

Here are just a few examples:



Here’s how to make something out of nothing, without a recipe.  

1. Decide your potato salad’s destiny. My add-ins always include a few hard-cooked eggs, a bit of red onion, cornichon, and a great big pile of herbs. I like chives and parsley — when I’m feeling wild, I’ll throw in a scallion — but this part welcomes improvisation. Riff on this according to your mood, or do down another road entirely, like this one with horseradish and dill, or this with arugula and Dijon mustard.


2. Put the potatoes into lightly salted water and bring everything up to a boil. (If you’re using baby potatoes, leave them whole or cut the larger ones in half; if you’re using larger potatoes, quarter or halve them before cooking.) While they bubble away, make the dressing: To a small bowl, add a heaping spoonful of mustard. Add to that about a 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (aioli really makes a difference, but store-bought will work, too), and then drizzle in an equal amount of olive oil while whisking away. It’s okay if you don’t measure — the most important part is that the olive oil to mayonnaise ratio be about 1:1.

3. Once they’re fork-tender, drain them and immediately shower them with apple cider vinegar. (For about 2 pounds of potatoes, I like about two tablespoons.)

4. To the newly zippy potatoes, add your destined mix-ins. Pictured here: 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped; a few spoonfuls of finely diced red onion; a handful of chopped cornichon; and a heaping 1/3 cup of chopped chives, parsley, and scallion. Top if off with a few grinds of pepper and a healthy pinch of salt for good luck.

5. Pour in the dressing, starting with a little more than half, and stir. Taste. Adjust. Is the salad not awake yet? Add a dash of vinegar. Too dry? More dressing. I almost always add a few more herbs because I like mine polka-dotted green, and another pinch of salt. But this is your potato salad — you decide.





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