Potato salad has long been one of my favorite summertime foods. I can be completely content to eat a bowl of it and call it a full meal. Sadly, it’s not really a nutritional powerhouse. In the past I would add some lightly blanched green beans, but they are one of my husband’s least loved foods and so if I’m cooking with the expectation that he’s going to join me, I leave them out.
Maybe a month or so ago, I was pondering the topic of potato salad (truly, this is one of the ways that I spend my time) and the thought occurred that adding blanched cauliflower would help lighten it and make it a more acceptable meal.
So I tried it and discovered that my hunch was right. It’s a delicious combination. The potatoes are creamy and the cauliflower (cooked with the potatoes for the last few minutes) is tender but sturdy. Of course, a few days after I made it, I was eating Indian food and was reminded that potatoes and cauliflower often accompany one another in that cuisine. I’m not nearly as original as I thought I was.
To keep the dressing simple, I stirred together some store-bought mayonnaise with a healthy dollop of Maille horseradish mustard (this zippy mustard has become one of my favorite secret ingredients since I discovered it in a box of goodies sent to me by Maille), and half a minced red onion. I also like to return the drained potatoes and cauliflower to the hot pan after draining them and then pour a little vinegar over the top, to infuse them with bit of vinegar tang.
- 2 pounds small red or golden potatoes
- 1 small cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 large red onion, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 heaping tablespoon horseradish mustard
- salt and pepper to taste, plus more salt for the cooking water
- Bring a pot of water to a boil (I like to use something that can hold at least 4 quarts, though 5 is even better).
- While the water boils, wash the potatoes and cut them into medium chunks of equal size.
- Once the water is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt and the potatoes.
- While the potatoes cook, break the cauliflower down into bite-sized florets. Once the potatoes are half way done, add the cauliflower to the pot.
- Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and set your flame to its lowest setting.
- Position a colander in your sink and drain the potatoes and cauliflower. Return them the pot and place it over the very low flame. Add the vinegar and shake the pot a little to distribute.
- Once the vinegar has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat and turn off the stove.
- While the potatoes and cauliflower cool, stir minced onion, mayonnaise, and horseradish mustard together.
- Stir the dressing into the cauliflower and potato combination with a silicone spatula. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.
If you can't find horseradish mustard or don't want to add another jar to your fridge, plain dijon will also work. It just won't be quite as punchy.