A single yellow tulip has bloomed in my yard, though I’m cautious, I’m taking it as a sign that the brutal winter we all just lived through might be over. And, that means we can finally transition into the season of grills and potato salad.
They say that people who live in Alaska through the winter really earn the glorious summertime so they appreciate it more, and this zippy salad celebrates that feeling of accomplishment and happy anticipation. This spring-tastic recipe leans into all that’s green, showcasing a fresh, tangy version of green goddess dressing that leans on the flavors of basil, tarragon and lime.
My family is split on the anchovy in the dressing, which is traditional in a green goddess. I like it, but the kids don’t. Without it, the dressing has more of an herbal ranch vibe, and a little less umami.
Most of the work of this salad is prep — making perfect jammy 7-minute boiled eggs (remember to start with the eggs cold in the water in the pan), boiling waxy bite-sized potatoes so they are just fork tender, quickly steaming and chilling asparagus and green beans so they’re still crisp, making a very quick and dirty version of pickled shallots. All of that and the dressing can be done a few days ahead.
It’s actually ideal if you prep early and assemble the salad when all the ingredients are very cold, in a chilled bowl ideally. It’s also impossible for the salad not to be beautiful, garnished with herbs and eggs, making it the perfect side for when you find yourself in possession of that first fresh salmon fillet of the season. This recipe is written to be shared — with enough for a potluck-style barbecue or larger family gathering. If you’re making it for a smaller family meal, cut it in half.
Green goddess potato salad
For the dressing:
1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 anchovy fillets (optional)
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup Italian parsley
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
Juice of half a lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons sea salt
For the salad:
2 1/2 pounds waxy small potatoes or potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces, boiled until fork tender and chilled
1 bunch lightly steamed asparagus or 2 cups blanched green beans or a combination, chilled
3-5 eggs, boiled for 7 minutes, cooled quickly, peeled and cut in half
For pickled shallots:
1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup assorted chopped herbs like chives, parsley, dill, tarragon, basil and pea shoots or microgreens, capers
Make quick-pickled shallots. Stir salt and vinegar together in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add shallots. Microwave on high 30 to 45 seconds steaming and fragrant. Refrigerate.
Make the dressing. In the bowl of a food processor or powerful blender, add yogurt, mayo, anchovies if using, herbs, garlic, lime juice, zest, vinegar, olive oil and sea salt. Process or blend until herbs are fine ground with the other ingredients, giving the dressing a green tint. Taste and adjust the acid/salt.
Toss 1 cup of dressing with the cooked potatoes and add a few good cracks of black pepper. Scoop into a serving bowl. Garnish with pickled shallots, asparagus and/or green beans, eggs, herbs, capers and microgreens and a few cracks of pepper. Serve immediately.