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I’ve been holding off on you for years by not sharing my family’s recipe for Jewish Potato Salad.
There have always been two potato salad recipes in my life. There is my potato salad – quick, simple, thrown together from what happened to be in the fridge one sunny July evening in France and made many, many more times since – and there is my Mother’s potato salad, this Jewish potato salad which I’ve always accepted was much, much better, but also involved a lot more effort. But, as I’ve morphed from student and rental kitchens into an adult with a home of my own, this beauty of my mother’s dairy free, kosher-style potato salad has won out. So, by popular request, here is the recipe for my Mother’s Jewish Potato Salad.
The only changes I’ve made here are to halve the recipe as before it did make a pretty big bowl – otherwise it is a straight adaptation from the sadly out of print Mother and Daughter Jewish Cooking by Evelyn and Judi Rose from whence also comes her Israeli Salad recipe – but with a few added bits from watching my mother make it countless times, and helping her make it for big family gatherings, or because all the onions and herbs you’ll need for it are good in the garden, and my father has just dug up the first of the home grown potatoes. This is one of his all time favourite recipes.
A few tips for sucsess:
Make sure you buy waxy potatoes, and only just cook them to tender – otherwise they’ll collapse when you try to slip the skins off, and the skinned potatoes help them absorb the dressing.
On that note, do make sure you leave the potatoes to ‘marinate’ in the vinaigrette for at least an hour at room temperature – they need to absorb the dressing to make sure the flavours develop!
We usually dollop the mayo dressing on top of the dressed potatoes when we leave them to sit, as per the picture, so you can just fold it together when you’re ready to serve – it is a great make-ahead dish for summer gatherings.
Do not use kosher mayonnaise for this. There is no point as eggs are a neutral food (can be mixed with either meat or dairy) and every brand I’ve ever tried tastes like plastic.
A classic, dairy-free and kosher Jewish Potato Salad that is a family favourite, baby potatoes soaked in a herby vinaigrette and tossed in a tangy mayonnaise sauce – this recipe is perfect for doubling making ahead to serve at large gatherings.
400g (14 oz) new potatoes
1 1/2 tbsp light oil
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp runny honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch English mustard powder
freshly ground black pepper
1 large spring onion
1 tbsp finely snipped chives
1 tbsp finely chopped curly parsley
2 heaped tbsp light mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 small red onion
Cook the potatoes in a pan of salted water until just tender. Remove from the heat, drain, and return to the pan, allowing them to steam under a tea towel. Once they’re just cool enough to touch, halve them (or quarter them if they’re a bit large) and peel away the skins.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, sea salt, English mustard powder, 5 grids of the pepper grinder, the spring onion, very finely sliced, and half the herbs.
Carefully stir the dressing into the potatoes, making sure not to break them up with your spoon. Set aside to allow the potatoes to absorb the dressing for at least 1 hour, at room temperature.
Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise dressing by combining the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, the red onion, finely chopped, the remaining herbs and 1/2 tbsp of water from a just boiled kettle. Dollop this on top of the potatoes ready to be mixed in once you’re ready to serve.
This potato salad is best served at room temperature.
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