Curried Potato Salad

Cotton napkins, melamine serving utensils, melamine salad bowls, metallic bowl, and wooden salad servers

Photo: Tyllie Barbosa; Food Styling: Carol Smoler; Styling: Barri Leiner Grant

GET THE LOOK Clockwise from top: Cotton napkins, $10 each, Jayson Home. Melamine serving utensils, $35, and melamine salad bowls, $35 each, ID, 3337 N. Halsted St. Metallic bowl, $20 for set of four, Brimfield. Wooden salad servers, $45, Tabula Tua.

Ryan Poli, chef/partner
Tavernita, 151 W. Erie St., 312-274-1111; Little Market Brasserie, 10 E. Deleware Pl., 312-640-8141

“This is always a hit at picnics and barbecues because it’s not your ordinary potato salad,” says Poli. “It’s a little different, packing flavor from the curry. And it’s not too heavy for a hot summer day.”

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes

3 lb. mixed fingerling potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1½ Tbsp. curry powder
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¾ cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp. chopped tarragon
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. crushed coriander seeds
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. pickled mustard seeds
Salt and pepper

1. Boil potatoes 10 to 15 minutes, until fork tender. Cool in refrigerator. Cut into ¼-inch-thick slices.

2. Blend the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder.

3. Add cilantro, celery, tarragon, red onion, spices, and ½ tsp. pickled mustard seeds (see below).

4. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Chill for up to 2 hours. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Pickled mustard seeds
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
½ cup water
½ cup champagne vinegar
½ Tbsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes until seeds are plump. Drain off all liquid and cool.

Tips and tricks:
Add a little more water to the mustard seeds if they look dry.

Save extra mustard seeds to add to vinaigrettes, cooked fish, or anything else that needs a little tang.

Buy housemade potato salad at Mariano’s ( The one called Metro ($3.99 a pound) has all the ingredients, seasonings, and heft that you want from this classic.

NEXT: Roasted Beet Salad recipe »


Roasted Beet Salad

Alexander Brunacci, executive chef/owner
Franks ’n’ Dawgs, 1863 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-281-5187; Peasantry, 2723 N. Clark St., 773-868-4888

“In Australia, beets are included in just about everything,” says the Aussie-born Brunacci. “The heartiness and richness of this salad are balanced by the pickled red onion, making it a perfect side.”

Makes 4 to 5 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1½ hours

Roasted beets
2 medium-size red beets
2 medium-size golden beets
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Scrub the beets and cut off the tops, but don’t peel.

3. Place beets in a large aluminum foil packet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt.

4. Pinch the foil closed and roast for 45 minutes (or until a knife can easily cut into the largest beet).

5. Let the beets cool and rub off the peels.

6. Cut the beets into ½-inch cubes.

Pickled red onion
½ cup water
2 cups champagne vinegar
1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half
2 limes (juice and zest)
⅓ cup sugar
1 large red onion, julienned

1. Mix everything but the onion in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

2. Pour hot liquid over the onion.

3. Cover and let sit for an hour.

⅓ cup champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
½ cup olive oil

Mix the vinegar, mustard, salt, and sugar, and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

1 large orange, segmented with the pith cut off
½ cup goat cheese in bite-size pieces
2 cups arugula
Black pepper, freshly cracked

Toss the orange segments, goat cheese, arugula, roasted beets, ¼ cup of pickled red onion, and 2 to 4 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette together. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper.

Tips and tricks:
If you really like goat cheese, then go crazy with it. If you can find only one type of beet, then just use the one.

Buy the beet salad at Kaufman’s (4905 W. Dempster St., Skokie, 847-677-9880). The roasted beets and onions marinated in beet juice ($5.99 a pound) work nicely.


Back to all »

More picnic goodies:
Starters: Wine & Cheese |The Main Event: Fried Chicken & Picnic Punch | The Side Show: Salads | Sweet Endings: Brownies & Lemon Cream Pie