Monday, June 27, 2011

Recipes Part 14: Potato Salad

Continuing with my four recipes for the 4th of July, I had this big plan of making local coleslaw to go along with the barbeque recipe from last week. Alas, no one at Atherton Market had cabbage this weekend. Luckily, several farmers had early potatoes so I still got to try my hand at homemade mayo, use these great early potatoes, and make a great local side dish for the 4th of July.

Homemade Mayo (v, LPO)
Like most people, I’ve shied away from making mayo because a) I don’t eat a lot of it and b) it seems like you need an iron wrist to beat the eggs sufficiently to emulsify them. So I set out yesterday afternoon to try my hand at making mayo from scratch. Unfortunately, I failed big time. I’m either not a very good whisker, I put in too much lemon juice, or maybe olive oil just is not ideal, but my “mayonnaise” came out yellow, runny and way too lemony. Luckily I had some store-bought olive oil mayonnaise to substitute.

Below is the recipe I found for mayo so if you have any suggestions, please share.

2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil (I used olive oil)
  1. Combine yolk, lemon and salt
  2. Add oil by whisking vigorously one drop at a time till fully blended
  3. After about half of the oil has been added, you can add more at a time, still mixing until fully emulsified

Potato Salad (v, LPO)
What I love about local cooking is that you use different breeds of produce than you’d usually get in the grocery store. Though the end result might not taste like you’d think it would, it can be even better. When your mom made potato salad growing up, she probably used giant Idaho spuds, cheap yellow mustard, and canned sweet pickle relish. In my version, I only (well, almost) used what was available locally which meant smaller potatoes in three different varieties, local mustard that has a real kick to it, sweet onions, and bread and butter pickles. The end result was recognizable as potato salad but had so much more flavor and character.

The potatoes came from Houston Farms, the Lomax Incubator Farm and Berry Busy Farm, eggs and onions from the Lomax Farm, I used Lusty Monk Mustard from Simply Local and pickles from Pickleville Pickles.

5 pounds or 3-4 cups potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 eggs
1/2 cup sweet chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped bread and butter pickles
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup mayo

    1.  Boil potatoes until cooked but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain.

    2.  Hard boil eggs. Chop 2 of them and slice the other for garnish.
    3.  Mix all ingredients then put sliced eggs on top.
    4.  Chill overnight or as long as possible.


  1. Hi, i love your blog. I've been going to the Atherton Mill most weekends, and really enjoy your recommendations and recipes. As far as mayo, i've just started making my own, and I can't imagine hand whisking it. I've been using a food processor (or you could probably use a blender) and that's been working well. I also use vegetable oil, but not sure that should make too much of a difference. Thanks for keeping it real on the local food front!

  2. Thank you so much Megan! You've inspired me to give it another go. Do you use a food processor and drip in a little at a time or do you think an immersion blender would work better?

  3. I haven't heard of anyone whisking it for may before till now. A blender is the way to go. Doesn't even have to be an immersion blender.

  4. Great recipe! Looking forward to trying it. Also, my husband sells at Atherton. Look for Cold Water Creek Farms. Eric is in the back corner by the trolley. We are local from Cabarrus County. And I agree, hand whisking seems too hard. I use food processor and slowly add oil. Thanks for a great blog!