It’s easy to give lip service to the “simple is best” maxim when it comes to cooking. Once a recipe is underway, though, it can be tough to resist the siren call of complex seasonings, multiple garnishes, or little culinary flourishes that don’t ultimately do much to improve the recipe—even if they make us feel artful and fancy.
This recipe is a perfect example of culinary restraint paying off. As I was mulling over ideas for a vegan potato salad, I was tempted to make a cashew mayonnaise, or to work in some exciting spice blends (potato salad with dukkah, anyone?). But in the end, I settled on a recipe that’s as simple as can be, and no less delicious for it.
Instead of creating a dairy-free mayonnaise substitute, I used avocados for creaminess. (As I was folding them in with the potatoes, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Roberto Santibañez’ genius guacamole.) And instead of fussing around with spices and unusual herb blends (tasty and interesting though those may have been), I stuck to the classic seasonings: mustard, lemon, green onion, and dill.
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The resulting salad has it all: a luxurious sauce, tender bite from the new potatoes, a hint of acid from the lemon, and the freshness of spring herbs. It’s an easy way to make your next potato salad contribution to summery gatherings dairy-free. And, as a promising sidenote, it has me giddy over the possibilities of using up leftover guacamole in potato salad. Stay tuned.
Gena Hamshaw is a certified nutritionist, recipe developer, and food blogger. She shares her latest culinary adventures at The Full Helping. She's the author of two cookbooks, Food52 Vegan (2015) and Choosing Raw (2014). She enjoys yoga, sweet potatoes, cashews, and things that are smothered in sauce.