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Mostly Not Potato Salad

May 24th, 2011 · 4 Comments

As a long-time fan of Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks blog, I was eager to get my hands on her newest cookbook, Simply Natural Every Day. This lovely book features the recipes Heidi makes often at home, and they are all straight-forward and approachable. While going through and trying to narrow down the recipes to make first, the “Mostly Not Potato Salad” jumped out at me. Unlike the usual bland, mayo-laden potato salads that are ubiquitous at summer picnics, this verdant salad uses potatoes as a background ingredient to crisp green vegetables. In Heidi’s version, celery and green beans star. As it is just asparagus season here (I told you I was hung up on asparagus), and green beans won’t be at market till later in the summer, I used it instead. I swapped the dill with parsley, as that’s what I had on hand. The original also calls for tofu, in which case you could even serve this as the entree on a summer Meatless Monday — I was serving it as a side to chicken, so I skipped the tofu.

The salad is dressed with caramelized leeks and a light vinaigrette. Let it stand for a while before serving, at room temperature. A warning to anyone who comes over, or invites us, for a cookout this summer: expect to see this on the menu. I can’t wait to try it with the yellow and purple beans from the market later in the season.

potato asparagus celery salad

Recipe: Mostly Not Potato Salad (with Asparagus & Celery)
slightly adapted from Simply Natural Every Day/via Whole Living, May 2011


  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural cane sugar
  • sea salt
  • 1 leek, white and tender green parts, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 small stalks celery, trimmed and diced

1. Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 9 minutes. Just before potatoes are done, add asparagus to the pot for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
2. Whisk mustard, vinegar, 2 teaspoons oil, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
3. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden and slightly crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Gently toss potatoes and asparagus, celery, parsley, and leeks with the mustard dressing in a bowl. Adjust salt if necessary. Serve at room temperature.

I’ve also made Heidi’s Oat Cakes from the book — my first time baking with coconut oil. Loved them. If you have the book, let me know what recipes you’ve enjoyed.

Tags: at market · meatless monday · recipes · spring · vegetarian · weeknight meals

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shaz @ feedingmykidsbetter // May 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Looks light & fresh. Perfect for all year round tropical weather. Thanks!
    Shaz @ feedingmykidsbetter´s last blog post post ..vanilla cupcakes with jam filling

  • 2 Christie Smith
    Twitter: goingloca
    // May 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Ooooh! I love the look of this!! I’m a big fan of 101 Cookbooks, so I’m sure I’ll love this. Sounds pretty versatile too. Thanks for sharing!
    Christie Smith´s last blog post post ..Unexpected Side Effects of “Locavoring”

  • 3 carrie // Jun 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve got to make a potato or macaroni salad for a party this weekend. It looks pretty tasty to me i might have to try it out. thanks 😉
    carrie´s last blog post post ..Bleach Unwanted Hair (a how-to guide)

  • 4 Nicole // May 23, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Love this salad! I’m not a fan of regular potato salad so this is perfect substitute. I’m going to file this in my recipe book to try making it myself! Thank you!