Mustard potato salad with celery is a lighter version of those mayo-soaked sides you might be familiar with. White balsamic and white wine vinegar, along with grainy and Dijon mustards bring a freshness that’s unlike the stodgy potato salads of the past.
Two things grow prolifically in my garden without much effort at all: potatoes and celery—score for us, my family loves both. Both seem pedestrian but carry the most unique flavor when grown in the yard. The first time I grew potatoes, the girls were toddlers, and digging for them was like searching for buried treasure. Seriously, it was one of the most memorable activities from their youth. Potatoes should be hard and unblemished. I never peel them because the skin is so thin it just dissolves, and I like the earthiness it carries through the recipe.–Valerie Rice
Mustard Potato Salad with Celery
- 1 1/2 pounds small baby Yukon Gold or fingerling potatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 celery stalks diced (reserve any tender leaves)
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot about 1 small shallot
- 6 cornichon pickles diced (optional)
- Pierce each potato with a paring knife and place them with the garlic and bay leaf in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm) and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until almost tender, 15 to 25 minutes.
- While the potatoes cook, in a large serving bowl, whisk oil, vinegars, mustards, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper—no sense in doing more dishes than you need to. Mix in celery, shallot, and cornichons, if using.
- When the potatoes are almost tender, drain them in a colander. I like them a little underdone at this point because they'll continue to cook after you drain them. Fish out one of the garlic cloves and use the back of a fork or your whisk to mash (it'll be warm and soft). Add the mashed garlic to the dressing and stir to incorporate.
- Cut each potato in half (they'll be hot to the touch) and immediately add to the prepared dressing. Give them all a good mix. Continue to mix the potato salad occasionally as it cools.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Are cornichons and pickles the same thing?Pickles are cucumbers, in general. Cornichons are pickled mini gherkins, which are...also cucumbers. They're just a really specific kind of cucumber. Less than 2 inches in length, they're picked before fully matured, giving them that distinctive extra-tart bite. Dill pickles can be substituted but you'll find the end result isn't as sharply flavored.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I really loved this recipe! It's so simple but such a different preparation for potatoes from the norm. The mustard and vinegar flavor was fantastic. Reminded me a bit of an egg salad or coleslaw. And this is a great way to use up some celery!
I can’t wait to serve this at our next summer BBQ. This reminds me a bit of German potato salad—celery, mustard (with a little horseradish in it), and of course, potatoes. Serving it just slightly warm really brings out the mustard and cornichons. But, at room temperature, it was also a treat.
This works as a side dish or a salad very nicely, and was great with pork chops. I did find that a little more salt than the recipe suggested was necessary. And, my potatoes were a little larger than baby potatoes, so I cut them in quarters, instead of halves. Next time I make this potato salad with mustard and celery, and there will definitely be a next time, I think I might add a handful of black olives.
Originally published May 05, 2021