We’re having a heat wave in northern California, and it’s got me thinking about summer food. This potato salad, which I love warm or cold, is a dish you will want to remember for summertime entertaining. No mayonnaise or dairy involved, it’s a fresher take on potato salad that can endure the heat. And when spring asparagus season is over, it’s also wonderful with summer’s fresh green beans.
I first had this salad with green beans at my sister-in-law’s last summer, and I made a pretty big dent in her giant bowl of it. The original recipe makes a party size, but I scaled it down for a family dinner. Easy enough to double for a crowd.
This is a really simple preparation: asparagus and potatoes cooked in boiling water, tossed with a lemony dressing and a handful of chives. Fast and easy, as summer cooking should be.
Cut your vegetables while the water boils. If your asparagus spears are thick, you might want to cut them on the diagonal. Thinner spears can simply be cut into bite-size segments.
Make sure you use thin-skinned new potatoes. Halve them if small, or quarter them if medium. The main thing is that you want all the pieces to be about the same size.
The cooking water should be salty enough that you can taste it. The asparagus only needs 2-3 minutes to cook. You’ll want it crisp and green.
While the potatoes cook, make the dressing. Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Also a smashed garlic clove if you have it. The careful cook whisks the mustard and lemon juice first, then adds the olive oil slowly while whisking to keep the emulsion. But I was in a hurry.
- While the potatoes cook, make the dressing. Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Also a smashed garlic clove if you have it. The careful cook whisks the mustard and lemon juice first, then adds the olive oil slowly while whisking to keep the emulsion. But I was in a hurry.
- Potatoes ready, and we’re almost done. You can see my dressing could be better emulsified, but life goes on.
- Add dressing and chives to the bowl and toss.
- The lemon-dijon dressing is very flavorful, but you’ll still want to taste and adjust your salt, pepper and cayenne to make sure your salad is well-seasoned. You’ll know it’s enough when you just want to keep eating.
- For eating, I like a softer potato, but a firmer potato makes for a better-looking salad. This is fuzzier-looking than it should be. But it tastes pretty awesome either way.
- New Potato and Asparagus Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing
- This fresh, lemony take on potato salad can hold up to summer heat. A happy pairing of spring’s new potatoes and asparagus that works just as well with summer’s green beans. Adapted from Whole Foods Market.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed well
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives