The Spring Potato *and* Asparagus Salad to End Potato Salad Debates
Why choose sharp or creamy when you can have both?
This article is part of “The Community Issue”, our celebration of what brings us together: Food. This issue is a collaboration with Infarm, the fastest growing vertical farming network from Berlin, that grows 100% local with zero pesticides. At Infarm the plants are harvested at their freshest point and with their roots on to keep the taste and nutrients in! This month, we’ll be giving you recipes that you asked for, highlighting some amazing recipes that you’ve shared, exploring what we’ve learned from each other here at KS, and so much more! Join us as we connect with each other through food this month and check out this link for an overview of our latest stories and recipes from the issue. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for extra community content and more!
Spring has been late to bloom here in Berlin—as Xueci sagely noted in the throes of this windy May, “Spring is only in the onions”—but at least we can brighten our days with the season’s colorful plates of produce. At the very least, it’s a mantra I’m trying to stick to.
But this article isn’t about me. It’s about you—or us, even. It’s another “You Asked For It” recipe. This time, we asked your to vote for the spring salad recipe you’d like to see on Kitchen Stories; the end result was a *very* close call between this springy potato salad and a marinated asparagus salad. The ubiquitous carb won narrowly, but in the community spirit of things, here we can offer you a 2-in-1 recipe for potato and asparagus (and peas and radishes and scallions and herbs, for that matter) salad. It’s bright on the eye and on the palette, and brings together two rival elements in the annals of potato salad—a sharp vinaigrette and a creamy dressing.
How to make the spring-iest potato salad: Here’s the recipe!
The great potato salad divide: Sharp vinaigrette or creamy, mayo-led dressing?
When it comes to potato salad, there are two go-to approaches. There’s the German (Swabian, I hear) style, a chivey potato salad with a sharp vinaigrette, served warm on your plate and then there’s the creamy, make-ahead, mayo-slicked version, sometimes with apples, sometimes with eggs; the kind that’s pulled out the fridge and fed to a crowd. Though I have many a memory of blobbing my paper plate with the latter at bbqs in the early 00’s, these days, I err towards the first, but dressed in moderation: A creamy potato salad has its day—just maybe hold the mayo a little, we want to build flavors here, not sculptures.
Again, in the spirit of building community, not dividing it, with this salad you don’t need to choose: the bulk of the salad marinates (yes, marinates—potatoes are like sponges, so give ‘em a sec to soak) for 10 minutes in a sharp vinaigrette packed with herbs, scallions, lemon juice, and vinegar and is served on top of some horseradish-spiked Greek yogurt (sorry mayo!). Scoop off the top if you want it sharp, stick to the bottom if you want it creamy. Or load the salad from base to summit on your plate (it’s what I do!). There’s something for everyone!
Herb's the word: How to vary your flavors
Potato salad is a chance to really play around with different herbs—I've used mint and dill in the recipe, but you could also add other soft herbs like basil, chervil, tarragon, coriander, chives, or my current favorite, lemon balm. You can also dress the salad in oils infused with hardier herbs like bay leaves or rosemary, so just take your pick, quite literally!
What kind of potatoes are best for potato salad?
I chose sweet, waxy, freshly in-season new potatoes for the recipe which, in my opinion, were made for potato salads. If you can’t find new potatoes: Since you want to boil your potatoes until fork-tender when making potato salad, go for any kind of waxy potato like Russet or Yukon Gold. These potatoes will keep their shape while cooking (you don’t want your potatoes to crumble into rubble in your bowl) and retain a nice, creamy bite! The cooking time will depend on the size of your potato and can vary from around 8 – 12 minutes once the water has boiled and you reduce it to a steady simmer, so keep a fork handy to test them. I prefer to keep the skins on, especially with new potatoes which are so thin-skinned, both out of laziness and a love of le rustique, but it’s up to you and your vegetable peeler at the end of the day.
This month, we’re happy to be collaborating with the Berlin-based farming revolutionaries at Infarm. Since 2013 they’ve been on a mission to provide quality, fresh, and locally grown herbs and lettuces (including 5 different kinds of basil!) to communities around the world; they’re now found in 10 countries and 30 cities. Using modular, modern vertical farms that automatically provide the plants with water, light, and essential nutrients, Infarm enables cities (like our hometown, Berlin) to grow locally all year round and save valuable resources. In addition, they don’t use any chemical pesticides! Check out their website for more information about what they do and to check if their 100% locally grown produce is available in your community.
Do you have a favorite way to make potato salad? Will you be trying this spring-spiked recipe? Let us know in the comments!
Published on May 21, 2021