My Irish-German aunts made potato salad without mayonnaise. As a curious kid, I found it intriguing because it was not what we did at our house.
There was bacon fat and vinegar drizzled over the hot potatoes and crumbled crispy bacon and chopped hard cooked eggs mixed in as well. To be sure, it was delicious and there was nary a drop of olive oil or any other unsaturated fats to be found.
Fast-forward many decades later, a mayonnaise-less potato salad is still not very common. It makes an early summer appearance in the food magazines, but mostly remains the provenance of restaurants and/or family traditions.
This recipe with olive oil, smoked paprika, green olives and sherry vinegar give this potato salad its Spanish flair and its improved nutrition. The recipe is vegetarian and with a nod to my aunts; the addition of paper-thin slices of smoky ham would not be amiss.
There’s tuna fish salad and there’s ‘Tuna Salad’. This is a ‘Tuna Salad’.
It’s a riff on the famous French ‘Salade Niçoise’ but with a Spanish flair. I use sherry vinegar in the
vinaigrette, green olives instead of black ‘Niçoise’ olives and slivered sugar snap peas in lieu of haricot
verts (baby green beans). This is about using ingredients that appeal to you and naturally work well
together. I made this grilled fresh tuna salad without the customary bed of lettuce; it seems like more
of a proper summer entrée this way!
Something crunchy, something colorful and something savory to bring to a last-of-the-season cookout, or a first-of-the-season tailgate party.
There is barely any cooking to do: the cherry tomatoes are slightly roasted, the broccoli crowns are tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and grilled along with some crusty French or Italian bread.
The rest of the work required improves your knife-skills.1
Salad for Dinner. It heralds summer al fresco dining.
This salad does have a few steps but they are all quick and easy. The two sauces could be made earlier in the day or even the day before, and reheated.
The individual tastes are crunchy, fragrant, spicy, meaty, sweet, sour and savory.
To quote Aristotle: “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts”.
I recently went to see a nutritionist and was told to eat more vegetables!
And here I was thinking that I’m a Chef, so of course I eat (enough) vegetables. During an analysis of what I actually do eat…. well.…I actually do not eat enough vegetables after all !!
And I know that in order to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, I will have to have parts of my meal already prepared. Luckily, we live in an era and area of readily available and very good quality prepared foods-- i.e. Foodies’ Markets!