This Italian Potato Salad with Pickled Shallots is bursting with flavour from fresh snipped chives, grainy mustard, capers and best of all, pickled shallots! Mayo-free.
I'm in a picnic mood today with this Italian Potato Salad with Pickled Shallots!
What's a picnic without potato salad? It's a tradition enjoyed all over the world, not just in North America. In fact, potato salad originated in Germany. A traditional German potato salad is tossed with a vinegar-based dressing while a North American version is often mayonnaise-based.
My recipe is made with new potatoes. It's an Italian potato salad without mayo, and it's bursting with flavour from fresh snipped chives, grainy mustard, optional capers and best of all, pickled shallots!
I'm a long-time fan of potato salad, any style! I make this Springtime Potato Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing often.
However, with a fresh jar of my homemade Quick Pickled Shallots with Apple Cider Vinegar in the fridge, I was dying to try something a little different.
Combining bold flavours like capers, mustard and shallots with creamy new potatoes makes a tasty side dish. This Italian potato salad is perfect for picnics and barbecues year-round.
What kind of potatoes are best for potato salad?
Small, waxy potatoes with thin skins are the best. I like to use new potatoes or baby potatoes. Creamy yellow Yukon Gold potatoes work beautifully in this potato salad recipe. Save your russets for baking. They tend to break apart and become a little mushy.
Small yellow, red or white potatoes will all make a great mayo-free potato salad.
- First, cook the potatoes. Start them in cold water and leave them whole. Make sure to add salt to the water. If you start them in boiling water, the outside will be overcooked and spongy and the inside may not be fully cooked. Simmer gently and be careful not to overcook. When done, the potatoes should be fork-tender, but not mushy.
- While they are simmering, make the dressing. Combine olive oil, fresh chives, capers, and whole-grain mustard and set aside.
- Next, drain the potatoes and rinse with cool water. Leave the skins on for extra nutrition, or slip them off. Your choice.
- Once the potatoes are completely cool, transfer to a bowl and toss with the dressing.
- And finally, garnish with pickled shallots and fresh snipped chives. Chill until serving time.
I like to vary this mayo-free potato salad recipe by adding lots of flavourful ingredients, so you won't miss the mayonnaise! Try one or more of the following ideas.
Marinated artichoke hearts (add a small jar, drained and chopped) or sun-dried tomatoes give it an Italian flair. You can also add finely chopped kale, cherry tomatoes, or even pickled green beans.
Safe storage instructions
Store potato salad covered in the refrigerator. Stored this way, it will last for 3 to 5 days. Don't leave potato salad out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, as bacteria form rapidly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
Potato salad doesn't freeze particularly well. However, you will have more luck freezing it successfully with a recipe like this one than with one that includes mayonnaise, as mayonnaise tends to separate when frozen. My advice: enjoy it now!
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Potato Salad with Pickled Shallots
- 1.5 lbs new potatoes, (baby potatoes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp capers, optional
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp pickled shallots
- In a medium pot, cover potatoes with water. Add slat. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Check frequently to avoid overcooking. Potatoes should be cooked, but firm.
- While potatoes are cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small jar or measuring cup, combine the olive oil, fresh snipped chives, capers, mustard, and salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- Drain the potatoes. Rinse gently with cold water. You can leave the skins on if you'd like, or remove them. They will slip off fairly easily. Cool slightly.
- Transfer to a bowl, toss gently with the dressing and sprinkle with pickled shallots. Add more salt if necessary. Garnish with extra fresh chives. Chill until serving time. Cover and refrigerate leftovers promptly.
This post was originally published in 2019. It has been updated with new information to make it more helpful.