I know potato salad isn’t the first dish that leaps to mind when the weather turns cool, but there is something to be said for making the dish even more savory than usual with the addition of musky herbs, such as thyme, or sage, and lots of grainy mustard. It pairs well with nearly every main course, year round, and is particularly amazing with these pork chops.
If you’re an inveterate potato-salad maker, you know that there are as many ways to make potato salad as there are moments in time. Lots of crunchy vegetables can—and in my opinion should!—be added to the mix. You can try finely diced fennel, celery, snap peas, or carrots, for example. You can leave out the mayonnaise and use Greek yogurt; you can make a dressing of olive oil and vinegar like you do for other salads. Most people have their own way to make potato salad and I’m no exception. I learned from my grandmother (no measurements, of course) and in the summer I still use her method when I’m making a traditional summer meal with fried chicken, or hamburgers. This recipe is a variation on that theme, with the addition of a lot more vegetables and a healthy dose of grainy mustard. The market is brimming, still, with yellow and red bell peppers, potatoes, and thyme, so now is our moment. Granny wouldn’t like this potato salad much, I can tell you. But for the rest of us it’s a great fall option that keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days, and gets better with time. I’d make a double batch this weekend, if I were you.
Potato salad w grainy mustard and thyme
Serves 4 as a side
- 12 small potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 small bell pepper, any color, finely diced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup grainy mustard
- Leaves stripped from 12 stalks of thyme
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
- up to 1/4 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
1. Place potatoes in a pan of cold water, with enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil and boil gently for about 25 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into one of the potatoes slips in very easily with no resistance. Drain potatoes and cool. Quarter potatoes with a sharp knife, removing any skin that peels off, but keeping skins that cling to the potatoes.
2. While potatoes are cooking and cooling, combine the remaining ingredients except vinegar. Mix vigorously to dissolve sugar. Add vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time until the dressing reaches the consistency you desire. (Remember you want the dressing a little runnier at this point, as the potatoes will absorb some dressing.) Taste the dressing and add salt if needed, 1/4 teaspoon at a time. If dressing is too tart for your taste, add another teaspoon of sugar. When potatoes have cooled, combine them very well with dressing. Refrigerate until you plan to serve it, and stir very well before serving.