Classic potato salad is one of the joys of hot weather meals, especially picnics. The creamy version has become as American as apple pie.
Early potatoes recently came into season, so I went to a nearby u-pick farm and dug up some perfect beauties. Potato Salad was the first thing I wanted to make with them.
My first problem was mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is not made locally, so I next looked at the possibility of making it at home. I had all the ingredients except one–olive oil, or some kind of vegetable oil. I’ve never seen a locally grown vegetable oil. Since oil is one of the main ingredients in mayonnaise, and since I wasn’t willing to give up so easily on a creamy summer potato salad, I started experimenting.
Happily, I came up with what I think is a good alternative (see link below in ingredient list). You’ll find some other innovations in this recipe that take advantage of local foods. I hope you’ll enjoy the results as much as I did!
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- 4 oz. aged gouda cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick (Appel Farms, Ferndale)
- 2 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, peel on, cut into 1-inch pieces (Half Acre Farm u-pick, Ferndale)
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste (see Exceptions)
- 1 cup Locavore Mayonnaise (homemade)
- pinch of chili pepper, fresh chopped or dried ground (I used dried habanero from friend’s garden, Lummi Island)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green shallots (home garden)
- 1/2 cup bok choy, chopped ((Terra Verde Garden, Everson)
- 1/2 cup pickles, diced (Boxx Berry Farm, Ferndale)
Slice gouda cheese 1/4 inch thick. Place in small saute pan or skillet over medium high heat. The cheese will melt and get bubbly. Cook until the edges are brown, and the bottom is browned enough that you can turn the cheese over like a pancake. Remove from heat and let cool. Finely chop into quarter inch squares. Set aside.
In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. Try not to overcook. The potatoes should not be mushy. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Locavore Mayonnaise, chili powder, shallots, bok choy, and pickles. Include a couple tablespoons of the pickle juice, too. Add the cooked potatoes and cheese bits and use a rubber spatula to gently combine. Season to taste with salt.
Appel Farms Cheese Shoppe, 6605 Northwest Road, Ferndale (open Mon-Sat 9a-6p)
Boxx Berry Farm Store, 6211 Northwest Rd., Ferndale (Mon-Sat 9a-6p, Sun 10z-4p)
Half Acre Farm U-pick, 6211 Northwest Rd., Ferndale (see website for hours and availability)
Home gardens, Lummi Island
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham