Fiesta potato salad

Whewwww.  What a crazy busy spring it has been for me.  And the fun isn’t over yet!  I think I’ll have time to breathe again in June, but in the meantime I’m stockpiling all the recipes we’ve made to post here when I find a moment or two.

The peak of spring is my favorite time of year — and moving the food and entertaining outdoors is one of the things I love most about it!  Potato salad is such a classic cookout dish — and one that I normally hate.  I think I have mentioned my dislike of mayonnaise here before.

Until I read the “Create Your Own Potato Salad” feature in Fine Cooking last year, I had no idea that you could just leave out the mayonnaise!  This has truly revolutionized the potato salad for me.

Here is the creation we came up with.  It is vaguely Mexican in flavor, so I am calling it Fiesta Potato Salad.  I thought it was pretty awesome.


For the dressing
1/4 cup lime juice or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons pureed chipotles in adobo
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly toasted and ground
2 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons lime zest
1-2 cloves crushed garlic

For the salad
1 teaspoon plain rice vinegar or white vinegar
Kosher salt
3.5 pounds potatoes
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 jalapenos
3/4 cup cheese, such as cheddar, monterrey jack, queso fresco or queso blanco

To make the dressing

Whisk together the mustard, lime juice/vinegar, salt and pepper.  Drop by drop, whisk in the oil vigorously until combined.  This can also be done in a food processor.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and set aside.

To make the salad

In a large  bowl, combine the 1 t of vinegar with 2 T of kosher salt.  Allow the salt to dissolve into the vinegar.

In the meantime, boil the potatoes in well-salted water until they can be pieced easily with a fork.  The time will depend on the size of the potatoes you are using.  Drain, let cool enough to handle, and remove the peel if desired.  Cut into small, bite-sized chunks.

Toss the potatoes in with the vinegar-salt mixture in the bowl to coat.  Fold in the peppers, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Whisk the dressing to re-suspend as necessary, and mix into the salad.  Garnish with cheese, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Variations:  Add corn, or other aromatics such as scallions or chives.  Color is an important aspect of this dish so mix it up with the peppers and tomatoes.  Kick up the heat by adding a pinch of cayenne, or crushed red pepper.  Experiment with the Fine Cooking feature and make it your own!

This potato salad will please all your mayonnaise lovers and haters alike.  Take it to your next potluck and I promise the others will be impressed!



5 thoughts on “Fiesta potato salad

  1. deirdrereid

    I might make this tonight, thanks. How many side servings would you say this makes? I’m no good at figuring out what 3.5 pounds of potatoes looks like. Thanks!

      1. deirdrereid

        I love this recipe! I’m bad at estimating too because even though I made it, I still couldn’t tell you how many servings it made. We munched on it for a few days but there are only two of us, sometimes three, in the house. I blogged about it here: I’m making it again tonight for a party tomorrow but I have to leave out the mustard, you’ll see why in the post. I’m thinking I can just leave it out and maybe increase the lime/vinegar a bit. Can’t imagine what would make a good substitute. Anyone?

  2. Pingback: Black bean burgers and sweet potato fries | Bounteous

  3. bounteous Post author

    Hmm. The mustard is there not so much for flavor but as an emulsifying ingredient — it helps hold the lime juice and oil together. You could leave it out, but the dressing may separate a bit; I would definitely do it in a food processor for a stronger emulsion. Or just secretly keep it in!

    Glad you enjoyed it!


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