Potato salad, hold the mayo

Fresh rosemary works if there is no parsley in the house

My wife on the evils of mayonnaise….

I hate mayonnaise. I hate the way it jiggles; the way it smells; the noise it makes coming off a spoon; but mainly the way it tastes. This makes simple dishes, tuna fish, coleslaw and yes, potato salad, tricky endeavors in my household. My husband will make two batches of tuna, one for me with a little Dijon salt and pepper and one for him with pickles, tomatoes, onions, fresh parsley and gobs of mayo. We look at each other with the same thought, “How can you eat that?” Actually, I’m usually thinking, “I hope he brushes his teeth after that.” When it comes to potato salad, we’ve found a couple that we enjoy that are blissfully free of mayonnaise. They’re below. If you have another, please share. Picnic season is upon us. (We saw this one over at Young Wifey’s blog, and will definitely try it.)

German-style Potato Salad

  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (optional)

Peel potatoes and cut in 1/4-inch slices. Steam until done, about 20 minutes, making sure to not overcook.  In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove, leaving drippings in pan, and set on a plate lined with a paper towel. Once cool enough to touch,  crumble and set aside.  Drain off some of the fat if desired, but leave at least two tablespoons in the pan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour, celery salt, mustard and season with salt and pepper. Once incorporated, stir in water and vinegar, scraping up the bits on the bottom. Cook until thick and bubbly, about two-four minutes. Stir in potatoes and bacon until well coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate. It’s good hot, cold or at room temperature. Garnish with parsley and sliced hard-boiled eggs.

Option number two

Potato and Anchovy Salad

  • 3 pounds red potatoes
  • 1 hard boiled egg, separate white and yolk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 anchovy fillets, drained and rinsed
  • 6 scallions or about a 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley

Chop potatoes in good-sized cubes and steam. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolk and vinegar until smooth. Whisk in sour cream and oil. Finely chop egg whites, anchovies and scallions. Mix into dressing. Toss with potatoes. Add pepper and and fresh parsley. Taste before adding salt, since the anchovies can be salty.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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63 Responses to Potato salad, hold the mayo

  1. ChefMom says:

    LOL! I don’t mind the taste of mayo, but I prefer Miracle Whip. Hubby disagrees with me on this one. But I have to say I agree with Katherine on all other accounts. Both Mayo and Miracle Whip are jiggly, squishy and make gross noises coming off of the spoon. As for the potato salads, I’m generally not a fan, but the first recipe for the german salad sounds like it might have some appeal to me.

  2. Zo Zhou says:

    Yum! I actually really like having a mayo-free potato salad every now and then, and even when I use mayo I add extra lemon juice or vinegar.

  3. joshuafagans says:

    Ha! Here I thought I was alone in having to cook separate things for my wife :)! Having said that, mayo-free potato salad can be quite good and feel a bit lighter.

  4. My husband will like these….he is not a fan of mayo (but I am) :)

  5. Sorry if you get a response from me twice, my first one seemed to go AWOL.
    I love a good old fashioned potato salad made with mayo, especially homemade mayo and a German version with bacon is also very nice. I have not made an anchovy version before, it sounds fabulous. :-) Mandy

  6. rsmacaalay says:

    I never knew people would hate mayo :) I love them I can put them in everything.

  7. I don’t mind the mayo taste, it’s the fat and calories I try to avoid! Sounds yum with dijon mustard

  8. Charles says:

    O.o – Did you try substituting mayo for creme fraiche? Makes a really nice, creamy sauce I find, and great for people who dislike the wonders of mayonnaise :)

  9. With mayo, without mayo..I don´t mind, just heavy on the potato is what I say! These both look wonderful, my tummy is rumbling already and I´ve not long had breakfast. Oh dear!

  10. I do like mayonnaise but its got to be the really good stuff. However I might be encouraged to give it up in a potato salad if this is the alternative, its sounds delicious. And I love the sound of rosemary in the salad, we have such a big bush and I don’t use it enough. Thank you for the inspiration.

  11. SimpleP says:

    Oddly enough, anchovy potato salad sounds really good. I’m not a big fan of mayo salads either, particularly meat or seafood salads, but I’m sure if you took a photo of it, I’d change my mind.

  12. That first recipe actually sounds like a really tasty alternative to your typical mayonnaise-laced potato salad; I like mayo, but would still definitely be inclined to try it out.

    At my house we actually cheat when we make potato salad…we use Marzetti’s low fat slaw dressing in replace of mayo (along with vinegar and some other spices). It gives the potato salad a lot of “zing” with a few less calories (at least, I assume so). It might be something you enjoy…though it still looks vaguely like mayo, so if it’s more a visual thing for you, it probably won’t help. ^_^

  13. charlywalker says:

    I was wondering if you two are busy for the next 15 years…I need someone to feed my family a meal………a good meal…a tasty meal…..oh never mind, I’m just gunna cut and paste your blog pic’s onto their dinner plates….

    Stop this kind of blogging….now I’m developing a drool……..

    Love it and keep it up..I expect to see a cook book soon……Hello B&N….

  14. Linda says:

    Too cute! I do prefer w/o mayo but won’t run away if it appears in a dish! Prepared w/o is much better for picnics when the food is out for awhile. I’m excited anchovies were used, there’s only a few of us who love them!

  15. I hated mayo for 30+ years, then I made my own with just egg whites and grapeseed oil. Now it is the only thing I will use for recipes where a little Dijon just isn’t enough. I can totally get it but it is really nice to have some recipes for side without, thanks for sharing.

    • Oh thanks. We still use some in our deviled eggs, and a few other things.

    • Charles says:

      “then I made my own with just egg whites and grapeseed oil”

      Hrm, I’ve never heard of mayonnaise being made with egg *whites*… I’ve always made it with yolks, bit of mustard, and then blend it up with olive oil (or sunflower oil). How do you do it with whites?

  16. midaevalmaiden says:

    I do like mayo a lot. But one time I watched a home cooking show that demonstrated how to make fresh mayo from scratch. It was pretty gross and turned me off mayo for a while after that.

  17. Yuri says:

    My mom uses sour cream instead of mayo :) I like both recipes you’ve presented here. Happy Wednesday :)

  18. P. Graham says:

    Amazing! I hate mayonnaise and my bf loves anchovies. Win for win!

  19. I don’t think I have ever known anyone who didn’t like mayo…miracle whip, yes, but mayo, no…I love german potato salad and this one looks great! They are not big on mayo in Texas so my mayo consumption has decreased tremendously since I moved here, but I still love it! I have one better than mayo though…I do not like fruit…seriously…no joke…LOL…thanks for sharing the salad! I especially love the hardboiled egg! Y’all have a great day!

    • katherine says:

      Glad to make your acquaintance Stubbie Chef! I also hate cauliflower and always give my cucumbers to Greg too! Do you even hate fruit desserts?

      • Okay, here is where it gets complicated…LOL…I LOVE banana bread as long as it has no chunks or gobs of banana…I love artificial fruit flavors…strawberry, banana, blueberry, pineapple, orange, etc…in candy like lollipops, hard candies, or soft drinks…the occupational therapist I work with said I have a texture problem and she could help me with that…LOL

  20. Did Katherine just go postal on mayo? LOL. I love it. Even though I adore mayo, I completely understand how some people do not. I love both potato salad recipes actually and I really enjoyed this post :)

    • katherine says:

      I know, I’m clearly crazy! Bacon fat or anchovies good. Mayo bad. Greg’s even funnier. I still find it amusing to slip a frozen lasagna or jar of Ragu in our cart at the grocery store and see how long it takes him. I never have trouble reshelving it, I swear he’s got a built-in radar!

  21. No mayo?? NO MAYO?? Just kidding! =D I like a good potato salad and have enjoyed both varieties. With Memorial Day coming up, I’ll definitely try your recipes! But, I’ll have the mayo on standby just in case.

  22. Amy Nadeau says:

    Anchovies make it! Yummy!

  23. Caroline says:

    This is too funny, Katherine. I’m right there with ya on the mayonnaise commentary. I CAN eat it, but definitely don’t prefer it. If you’re still able to make a delicious pasta or potato salad without mayo aka minus additional and unnecessary carbs, I’m all for it!

  24. eva626 says:

    hold the mayo for sure…itll just mess up the dish…anyway great food!!!

  25. gmomj says:

    We don’t hate mayo but do get along just fine without it.
    I will whip up a bit for vegetable souffle but otherwise we don’t miss it.
    My sister like Miss Katherine has a true dislike for the stuff. “It looks like pus.” Ewww. Sorry…. that ought to put everyone off their tunafish with mayo. (your welcome).
    I think when you make it yourself and you see what the simple ingredients are and know the handling it is much more acceptable to eat.
    Someone posted eating a grasshopper yesterday on a self dare. Now that is disgusting…I don’t know if she put mayo on it but I do know alcohol was involved. Yech!!!!

  26. I feel your pain Kathrine..my friend hates the stuff too..
    I usually substitute 1/2 the amount of may for yogurt..it tastes lighter and much better..I have a couple of mayo free potato salad recipes..I’ll post them real soon…hope you like them

  27. Colline says:

    I am going to try the first option. Yummy!

  28. Love warm German Potato Salad! Can’t wait for this weekend I’ll be making potato salad for the bbq too!

  29. fatisrecipes says:

    When I was invited to a bbq, our friend made one with and without mayo. The one without had parsley, lemon and fresh mint in it (if I’ve remembered correctly!) :)

  30. Carolyn Chan says:

    Your description of mayonaise made me laugh out loud ! I used to be like that and then I tried Japanese mayo and now whilst I don’t looove it, I am able to eat dishes that sort of require you to have mayo in them.

    I do love your mayo-free recipes though ! Thanks !

  31. Mel says:

    I only detest mayo in two situations: in coleslaw and in food saturated in sunlight. In Singapore a few bakeries sell bread with meat floss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rousong) and mayo – a curious combination but one I really love.
    Those potato salads look SO delicious… and I conveniently have potatoes and anchovies – so the potato and anchovy salad is what I shall make for my next dinner! Thank you :-)

  32. onewomaninaricefield says:

    Oh man…I don’t mind mayo but I know what’s in it and it’s not delicious sounding. My boyfriend absolutely hates it. So I’m really glad to see this post. I shall definitely try both of these recipes this summer.

  33. Young Wifey says:

    Awe Rufus! Thanks for the love! I also make a yummy sour cream potato salad when I do want a creamy version…

  34. Kas says:

    That first recipe sounds PERFECT! Justin hates mayo as well and I love potato salad, so this might be the perfect resolution :)

  35. I’m not a big mayo fan myself. My favorite substitute is plain full-fat yogurt. It’s creamy, tangy, and just generally tasty.

  36. lafemme says:

    I am allergic to eggs, so I always appreciate the egg-free versions of old favorites. I love to combine whatever herbs I have on hand (esp tarragon) with olive oil, homemade dijon mustard, lots of vinegar, chives and whirl it all up in a blender so it makes a lovely green sauce. I toss it while the potatoes are still warm, and my husband practically eats the entire thing right there! Herbs are so healthy, and they add such great flavor.

  37. Wow! I love your wife! I also like to dip my fries in vinegar, I think it has something to do with the fact that Greeks use lemon on french fries and it has a similar tang. Have you tried making mayo for her from scratch? She sounds wonderful and you two are very entertaining!

    – Christina Marie

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  40. ani says:

    I make one without mayo, using Newman’s Own Parmesan & Roasted Garlic dressing…have also done it with balsamic dressing…adding veggies to both

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