Spicy Vegan Potato Salad

Spicy Vegan Potato Salad
Just a couple of days ago I was fretting that our Fourth of July plans were going to get rained out. Instead, we’re being graced with deliciously sunny days. When does that ever happen on a three-day weekend in the middle of a San Francisco summer? I’ve even heard rumors that thermometers may top 70º in the city on the fourth!

So: Three-day weekend, check. Warm weather, check! You know what that means, right? BBQs are a must! Get ready to throw your favorite veggie sausages on the grill, and don’t forget to serve up this killer side. Be sure to wear your “Vegans Rule, Omnis Drool” tee, because the old-school mayonnaise bomb previously known as potato salad is about to be usurped. Begging and high-stakes negotiations are not uncommon around this potato salad, so you may want to double or even triple the recipe.

The Secret’s in the Sauce
Well, sort of, anyway. The salad is dressed in a basic French vinaigrette, then spiced up with some red jalapeños and cilantro. The other secret is in the freshness and quality of the produce you’re using. The veggies really get a chance to shine since you’re not covering them up in a heavy sauce.


  • 2 lbs fingerling potatoes
  • 1 lb golden beets, peeled and quartered
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red jalapeño, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 6 tablespooons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • handful of cilantro leaves


  • Add potatoes and golden beet quarters to cold water in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan with just enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, just about 20 minutes.
  • While veggies are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking vinegar and mustard, then slowly adding in the olive oil until thick and emulsified. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once cooked, drain veggies and allow to to cool. Slice potatoes in half-inch rounds and beets into thick chunks. Dress with vinaigrette, add hot chiles and cilantro, and taste for final seasonings. This will taste best if allowed to sit overnight and soak up all the bright summer flavors.

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Sabrina Modelle is the girl behind The Tomato Tart (www.thetomatotart.com). A web designer by day and a food writer by night, she lives, eats, and loves in El Corazon- right off the 24th Street corridor. She finds that inspiration comes easily in this city full farmers markets, mercados, food trucks, and food obsessed folks. Comments are her favorite, so speak up!

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