Potato salad is the quintessential summer (side-)dish for barbecue parties, picnics, potlucks and other summer holiday dinners. Many people already have a family recipe for this summer favorite; there are already hundreds, if not thousands of recipes for this starchy, carb-heavy ‘salad’ online! Surely, you’ve got a great potato salad recipe of your own, but perhaps you’d like to try something different!
The first, most important question with any potato salad recipe is, of course, whether you like to use fluffy, floury potatoes that fall apart into a soft, mushy texture, or whether to use a waxier potato for a little bite – and, of course: peel on or off?!
Almost (more?) equally important as the potato is the dressing. Some favor a potato salad dressed with mayonnaise (either just a little, or lots) while others prefer to use (sour)cream, crème fraîche or even no heavy dressing apart from some olive oil and lemon juice. And then what about the additional ingredients? Boiled eggs, or no eggs? Pickles, or no pickles? Vegetables, or potatoes only?
Me, I don’t really like a potato salad that is too mushy… if I want to eat something of that texture, I’d rather go for simple buttery mashed potato. My version of potato salad (not a family recipe, by the way) is made with chunky, slightly waxy, unpeeled baby potatoes and lots of crunchy, strong-tasting vegetables such as radish, fennel and celery. Instead of only using lots of mayonnaise in the dressing – which, mind you, I have nothing against – I’ve combined some tangy crème fraîche and only about a fourth of a cup of mayonnaise in this salad here, which gives the potato salad that familiar and comforting creaminess as well as a bit of sour freshness.
The herbs I’ve used (parsley and/or dill) can, of course be substituted by any other leafy herb – think chives, celery leaves, or even some mint, chervil, or a bit of tarragon. And while I’ve not added any type of pickle (I find the sour cream tangy enough), adding some chopped up dill pickle, or salty capers is always a nice addition.
While it’s a great side for any barbecued meats and seafood, this potato salad is best served at the park in little paper bowls with perhaps some cold, smoked fish on the side, or a smoky piece of ham or chicken while you laze on a bright multi-colored blanket in the shade of a leafy tree… Is it time for picnics yet?
Potato Salad with Radish, Fennel and Creme Fraiche
- 1kg baby potatoes, skin-on and washed well
- 1 small fennel bulb (save the fronds if there are any), thinly sliced
- 200g red radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 150ml crème fraiche
- 60ml (about 1/4 cup) mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons milk, or water
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-, or wholegrain mustard
- Bunch of flat leaf parsley, or dill, roughly chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Place pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 15 - 20 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain and leave potatoes to cool down.
- To make the dressing, mix crème fraiche, mayonnaise, milk and mustard until well combined. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are cool, slice them in half, or thirds and add them to a large bowl together with the thinly sliced fennel, sliced celery, green onions, chopped parsley or dill, and sliced radishes.
- Toss vegetables with the dressing and add some salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over the reserved fennel fronds if you have any.