Ed Schoenfeld, a restauranteur, consultant and chef, makes a version of this potato salad for many of his dinner parties. Before I met Ed, I was never a fan of mayonnaise-based potato salad. Once I tasted his ve rsion, my opinion changed forever. What’s unusual about this potato salad is that there is sugar in it. The sweetness combines with the sweet-sour taste of the gherkins, the tang of the lime, the spiciness of the cayenne and the herby freshness of the basil to make a potato salad that hits the ground running. With lots of mayonnaise and olive oil, I admit that it isn’t the healthiest salad in this chapter. But it’s not the kind of salad that you make every day—it’s worth the splurge.
(Ed chatting with Charlie at the stoop of his restaurant, Red Farm in West Village, Manhattan)
Serves 8-10 (with other dishes at the table)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Lucini extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Lucini Pinot Grigio or White Wine Vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bunches of scallions, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped sweet gherkins or bread and butter pickles
1 generous cup basil or dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
3 1/2 pounds small to medium red potatoes, peeled, halved and each half quartered
Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let the eggs stand 10 minutes in hot water and then drain and cool. Once cool, peel and separate the whites from yolks. Quarter the whites, and set aside; finely mash the yolks and set aside.
Whisk the mayonnaise, egg yolks, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the scallion, gherkins, basil and parsley, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring the potatoes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon kosher salt, reduce heat to a medium simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and, while still warm, add to the dressing and toss to combine. Cover the bowl flush with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day in advance. Taste for seasoning and then gently fold in the egg whites and serve.
The bread and butter pickles I used were a gift from our friend Eddie Hoos. They were a wonderful substitute for the gherkins.