Beach Potato Salad

A James Beard Classic

James Beard, the heralded cook & author, wrote affectionately of this recipe his mother made for their trips to the beach. Research shows it to be over 140 years old. I’ve been making it for over twenty years

Flavor Improves the Next Day

This potato salad contains no egg or dairy; it’s safe to serve at room temperature. It’s complex and adds a shine to any buffet or picnic table.

SERVES 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS: I updated this version to include pre-cutting and microwaving the potatoes to make it ultra-quick.

  • potatoes- 2 LBS., (6 medium): Yukon or Red Bliss, peeling optional*, 1/2″ chunks
  • salt- 1 1/2 tsp
  • pepper- 1/4 tsp
  • olive oil- 1/2 cup
  • dry white wine- 1/4 cup
  • vinegar- 1 TBS, white wine or cider vinegar
  • parsley- 1/2 cup, finely chopped or dill
  • scallions- 1/4 cup finely chopped, or chives
  • *For a more rustic texture, leave skins on—unless the peel is thick. If you prefer to boil the whole potatoes as in the original, go to this link.

INSTRUCTIONS: For Microwaved Potatoes

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Add to a microwave safe bowl and add a tsp of water. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave 6 minutes on high.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing.
  3. Test the potatoes for tenderness, drain and while still warm toss with the dressing.
  4. Flavor will deepen in a couple hours or overnight.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

INSTRUCTIONS: For Microwaved and Air Fryer Potatoes Note: use smaller Yukon Gold potatoes for this version

  1. Place the whole potatoes in microwave and follow the directions in Step 1 above
  2. When cool enough to handle, use a heavy glass to press each potato to partially smash it; they should be about 1/2-3/4 inch thick when done
  3. While preheating the air fryer spray or brush each potato with olive oil and lightly salt
  4. Place potatoes in air fryer and cook at 380º for 10 minutes; then turn each potato and continue to fry for 4-5 more minutes; until skins are crispy
  5. Slice the warm potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a bowl; then toss with the dressing
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