Potato salad might be the ultimate summer side dish, but it doesn’t have to be traditional. Get creative with these four delicious recipes – and be sure to make twice the serving.
It’s summertime, and across the UK, the sunshine is awakening our urge for al fresco dining. On picnic mats up and down the land, there are certain to be scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pork pies and quiches. So too will be there be an assortment of cakes and pastries, waiting to be devoured after the savoury main. And there, in the middle, there will be a summery side dish no picnic worth its salt would be without: potato salad.
If the thought of the humble accompaniment only passes your mind when you walk through the chilled aisle in the supermarket, it’s time to reacquaint yourself. Served with cold meats, sandwiches, and roast leftovers, potato salad will see your through all occasions, from quick WFH lunches to barbecues in the garden. And, rest assured, someone will always want a second helping.
These days, the classic dish is experiencing many an inventive upgrade. Its simple nature means it can easily be customised to suit your personal tastes, whether you want to jazz it up with extra herbs, add more seasonal produce or even swap the mayonnaise for a light vinaigrette.
Below, you’ll find four moreish potato salad recipes to complement all your summer meals. Gill Meller’s dish with artichokes and garlic mayonnaise offers a twist on tradition, while Daniel Harding’s modern interpretation makes use of blue cheese and radishes for added zing.
Not a fan of mayonnaise? No problem. Rebecca Woods’ warm salad of root vegetables with crumbly goat’s cheese has a deliciously sharp dressing made with apple cider vinegar, and can easily be made vegan. Aaron Bertelsen’s tuna and potato salad, meanwhile, is a great way to make use of store cupboard essentials, and works perfectly as a light meal on hot days.
Prepare for your friends to stay a little longer than expected…
Gill Meller’s artichokes and new potatoes with garlic mayonnaise and toast recipe
Gill says: “That moment, when I’m heaping warm artichoke hearts and tender waxy potatoes onto crunchy, salty sourdough, then smothering everything in garlicky mayonnaise, right there, that is happiness. And returning to Earth – some people trim and bin the majority of the artichoke leaves before cooking the hearts themselves, but I think we may as well cook the whole things and then eat the lovely tender flesh from the leaves instead. It seems less wasteful to me. If time is of the essence, you can make a pretty speedy version of this warm salad with decent ready-prepared artichoke hearts in oil.”
- 8 large globe artichokes
- 800g (1lb) new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 large handful of flat-lead parsley, leaves picked and chopped, plus a few sprigs to garnish
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- slices of toasted country-style bread to serve
For the mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, very finely grated
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 125ml cider vinegar
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 75ml extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the artichokes (in batches, if necessary) and bring the water back to the simmer. Simmer for 15–40 minutes (depending on size and freshness) with the lid on, until the bases of the artichokes take the point of a knife. Lift them from the water and set aside to cool. Pull away the leaves one by one, then use your teeth to scrape the delicate flesh from the base. When you reach the hearts, remove the hairy choke, which you can’t eat, then cut each heart into little wedges and set aside.
Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Set the pan over a high heat and bring to the simmer. Cook the potatoes until just tender, then drain. Now return the potatoes to the warm pan and add the prepared artichoke hearts, along with the olive oil, chopped parsley and lemon juice, and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Tumble this all together and set aside.
Make the mayonnaise. Place the garlic, egg yolk, mustard and cider vinegar in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and whiz for 30 seconds.
Combine the oils in a jug. With the processor running, slowly add them to the mixture, a few drops at a time at first, then in a trickle. Once you’ve added all the oil, you should have a thick, glossy mayo that holds its shape.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
Divide the warm artichokes and potatoes between 4 serving plates. Add a big spoonful of the mayonnaise to each plate and scatter over the parsley sprigs. Serve with some good-quality toast trickled with olive oil and sprinkled with flaky salt.
From Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How to Cook with Vegetables and Other Plants by Gill Meller (£27, Quadrille), out now
Daniel Harding's blue cheese and radish potato salad recipe
- 750g new potatoes
- 200g bacon lardons
- 100g cornichons, roughly chopped (optional)
- 100g radishes, sliced (optional)
- 1 block blue cheese, crumbled
- 100g mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp cornichons pickling liquid
Halve the new potatoes and boil for about 15-20 minutes until tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, fry off the bacon lardons, rendering the fat so that they crisp up nicely.
In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise and pickling liquid. Set aside.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and run under cold water to cool them slightly before placing in a large mixing bowl.
Add the chopped cornichons, radishes, half of the crispy bacon lardons and half of the crumbled cheese.
Pour the mayonnaise mixture on top and give everything a good mix, ensuring it all gets coated.
Season to taste.
Transfer to a serving dish, then top with the remaining bacon bits and crumbled cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
Daniel Harding is a food writer and founder of Sugar and Salt.
Aaron Bertelsen’s tuna and potato salad recipe
Aaron says: “This is a salad that you can enjoy all summer and into the autumn. The recipe was given to me by my friend Perry Rodriguez, Great Dixter’s estate manager, and he in turn got it from his mother Aida. It’s light enough to share with those who don’t want anything heavy, but still satisfying enough to make you feel like you have eaten well. It’s also ideal for when friends decide to stay longer than expected, as it can turn a few ‘things in cans’ from the larder into something really delicious.”
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
- 1kg/2 1/4 lb new or other small potatoes, chopped or halved
- 400g canned tuna in olive oil (drained) or cooked fresh tuna (in which case you might need a little more), broken into bite-size pieces
- 25g canned anchovy fillets (about 10), shredded
- 4-5 thick spring onions, sliced
- handful of chopped cooked green beans or asparagus (optional)
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- drizzle of red wine vinegar
- 2-3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- salt and pepper
Put the potatoes into a pan of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes until tender but still holding their shape. Drain and set aside to cool.
Put the cooled potatoes into a serving bowl, then add the tuna, anchovies, spring onions and beans (if using). Drizzle with oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Arrange the sliced eggs over the top of the salad and serve immediately.
From The Great Dixter Cookbook by Aaron Bertelsen (£24.95, Phaidon), out now
Rebecca Woods' warm salad of root veg with goat’s cheese recipe
Rebecca says: “Keep the dressing quite sharp here as it cuts well through the sweetness of roasted veg and the richness of the cheese. If you want to keep it vegan, switch the honey for maple syrup and omit the goats’ cheese.
Takes 50 minutes
- 350g new potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into large chunks
- 1 beetroot, peeled and chopped into large dice
- 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into large chunks (or 175g baby carrots, halved lengthways)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 apple, cored and chopped into wedges
- 60g walnut halves
- a drizzle of honey
- 100g salad leaves
- 125g soft, crumbly goats’ cheese
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp walnut oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Put the potatoes and other root veg in a large roasting pan, drizzle over the olive oil, sprinkle over the thyme, and season with salt and black pepper. Toss everything together until all the veg are well coated. Roast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until starting to brown.
Add the apple slices and mix to coat in the thymey oil. Return the pan to the oven and cook for about another 15 minutes until all of the veg and the apple are tender.
Put the walnuts in a small bowl and drizzle over a little honey. Stir around so that the nuts are well coated. Sprinkle the walnuts over the veg in the pan and return to the oven for 5 minutes until the nuts are toasted and golden.
Meanwhile, mix together all of the ingredients for the dressing and season well with salt and pepper.
Pour half over the salad leaves and toss to coat.
Arrange a bed of salad leaves on a platter and dot the roasted veg and walnuts over the top. Crumble on the goats’ cheese and serve with the rest of the dressing drizzled over the top.
From Posh Potatoes: Over 70 Recipes, From Wondrous Waffles To Fabulous Fries by Rebecca Woods (£12.99, Quadrille), out now
Photography: Andrew Montgomery; Daniel Harding; Faith Mason
Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.