Fingerling Potato Salad with Honey, Lemon and Djon Vinaigrette

potato salad

Easter is around the corner and I can’t think of a better side dish to have sitting next to your Easter ham. It’s a potato salad made with those pretty colored fingerling potatoes. It showcases a special creamy vinaigrette made with honey, lemon and Djon.  The vinaigrette is the perfect compliment to the fingerlings because their light and mild flesh makes the flavors easy to absorb.

The flavors are bright and slightly tangy with a lighter version of a traditional potato salad. This salad can safely sit out and be served at room temperature because it’s made without mayonnaise, so keep this potato salad in mind for future BBQ’s, parties and picnics.

fingerling potato salad

Adding hard boiled eggs, your favorite olives, parsley and sliced green onions round out all the flavors in this hearty potato salad.

fingerling potatoes

Seek out fingerlings that are about the same size because you want them all to cook evenly together, sometimes you’ll see some larger ones in the mix.

boiling potatoes

Fingerlings boil up fast so be careful not to overcook them. You want the tip of a knife to go through easily but not so much so that the potato falls apart when poking it.  Be mindful of that, so keep checking for doneness so they don’t fall apart and get mushy.

honey mustard sauce

The vinaigrette is dreamy, you might want to double the recipe and have extra in the fridge so you can use it for a bunch of other dishes!

balsamic pearls

A while ago I ordered these balsamic pearls on line but never got around to using them, since they were lemon flavored I thought they would be a nice addition to this potato salad. This is totally optional, no need to add it to the recipe at all, but they are sort of fun!

fingerling potato salad

Look closely, you’ll see them sitting on the surface.

potato salad

Feel free to make this salad your own with inspiration of seasonal veggies like asparagus, peas, green beans or even corn, and maybe switching up some herbs and adding some arugula, all would go well with the flavors of honey, lemon and Djon.

I hope you seek out some of those vibrant fingerlings and make this delicious potato salad customized by you!

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Fingerling Potato Salad with Honey, Lemon and Djon
A potato salad you'll eat all year long!
  • 2 lbs. vibrant colored fingerling potatoes, roughly same size and cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 or 4 hardboiled eggs halved or quartered, your choice
  • ½ cup or so of sliced olives, green or black
  • 3 green onions sliced on the diagonal
  • balsamic pearls (optional)
  • Vinaigrette ingredients
  • 1 big shallot or 2 small, finely chopped
  • chopped parsley, a handful
  • 3 tablespoons of Djon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons, lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon, honey
  • ⅓ cup or so of good olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl, taste to your liking, maybe you want it sweeter, add more honey, more tart, add a splash more vinegar or lemon juice or even more olive oil, then set aside.
  2. Wash your potatoes really well.
  3. Place them into cold water and let them reach a boil, then turn down heat to a medium simmer.
  4. Test potatoes for doneness you don't want them mushy as stated in the post.
  5. When finished cooking drain them and place the warm potatoes gently into a large serving dish.
  6. Sprinkle in the green onions and olives all around the potatoes and arranging the hard boiled eggs.
  7. Spoon the vinaigrette all over the warm potatoes so that flavors can absorb.
  8. Taste and determine if salt and added pepper is needed, maybe sprinkle in more parsley, onions and olives as well.
  9. Serve best at room temperature



Grilled Potato Salad

grilled potato salad Today I’m sharing this recipe for grilled potato salad because Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching and you just can’t have a BBQ without some kind of potato salad!

This is a little twist on traditional potato salad because no mayo is required and the potatoes are grilled which lends a nice, slightly smoky flavor to the salad.

grilled potatoes You can pretty much use any variety of potato but it’s important to know that you have to cook the potatoes first, you can’t just place raw potato slices directly onto the grill, it won’t turn out right.

You can boil, bake or microwave the potatoes, I prefer microwaving them. I had three big potatoes, mine were russet and they took only four to five minutes each, you’re looking for an al’ dente feel where you’re able to make a nice clean slice, they’ll finish cooking the rest of the way on the grill.

grilled potato salad

After the potatoes are grilled place them onto a platter lined with arugula then add sliced radishes, grilled corn, slivers of red onion, cherry tomatoes and lots of fresh basil.

The dressing is simple, just whisk two parts lemon juice to two parts olive oil, one minced garlic clove, a squeeze of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

grilled potato salad

Drizzle the dressing all around keeping it nice and light, don’t worry about keeping it chilled because it taste great at room temperature, nice and easy.

Happy Memorial Day!

Here’s a couple other grilled potato recipes you might want try, grilled red potatoes and grilled potato and asparagus napoleon.

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Picnic Food Ideas for a Crowd

focaccia Italian sub

Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, the unofficial mark of summers end. If you’re going to a picnic or a family get together for your last hurrah, here’s a couple of things you can bring along and not worry about it spoiling from sitting around in the heat.

We recently had a big family picnic and although there were grills on site, we didn’t feel like grilling, so I was thinking what I could bring to share that would be big enough to feed a bunch of people, Italian sub sandwiches of course!

round focaccia

I decided I would switch it up this time and make them on focaccia bread, and although the picture may not show it well, these were huge, like the size of a 14 inch pizza.

Living in the Chicagoland area I’m fortunate to have access to many places where I can easily go and pick up some of these delicious breads, some are round, some are rectangle, all shapes would work for this, and of course you can always make your own.

focaccia Italian sub

I love this type of focaccia with the tomatoes stuck into it, it lends so much flavor to the sandwich but it does takes a little patience when slicing it in half horizontally.

You’ll need a small pairing knife and a large serrated knife. You’ll also want to make sure your focaccia is at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. Use the pairing knife and score the center of the outside edge all the way around, this will just be your guideline so be careful not to cut into it too deep.

Then take the large serrated knife and SLOWLY cut through the focaccia, pressing on the top ever so slightly with your hand as you move back and forth until you reach the other side using your pairing knife marking as the guide, then gently separate the halves.

Italian sub ingredients

The sky’s the limit as to what you want to fill your subs with, I opted for swiping basil pesto on each side of the bread with a nice drizzle of olive oil all over, then I layered with slices of aged provolone cheese, mortadella, salami and a handful of arugula. Like I said before, the tomato focaccia has so much flavor so you really don’t need much more of anything else!

focaccia Italian sub

The best part is they make a great presentation on the table placed on a couple of round Party Store platters that I picked up.

I couldn’t cut them fast enough, needless to say they were a hit!

caprese pasta salad ingredients

I also brought along this Caprese Pasta salad which I like to make this time of year with the abundance of cherry tomatoes that still have their intense flavor.

I cooked my pasta the night before, ( 2 lbs.) cooled it down, drizzled it with olive oil and put it into a zip bag overnight and also cubed up a log and a half of fresh mozzarella cheese.

The morning of the picnic I quartered all my tomatoes, a t least 2 big containers, dowsed it all with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil. Let it sit a bit so the juices can mingle, then tossed in your pasta and cheese adding more oil, basil and salt if needed.

caprese pasta salad

Both are easy to do, a nice presentation, and feeds a crowd, oh and of course taste amazing!



Spring Rolls, Italian Style!

I love spring rolls, but have always been intimidated by them. Maybe it’s because it’s an Asian thing and that’s totally out of my league. I heard horror stories of spring roll skins ripping and sticking together, but even so I was determined to try them!

I wanted to make these for our annual picnic at Ravinia last August, but chickened out at the last minute for fear I would ruin it all. Spring rolls are light, not fried, usually filled with fresh veggies, chicken or shrimp, always accompanied by a delicious dipping sauce, and best of all, everything is enclosed in a pretty little package, easy to handle, great to transport, perfect for a picnic, as a light appetizer, or even a light lunch.

Well I’m happy to say the whole process was very easy! I actually made Asian spring rolls first, with shrimp, shredded carrots, cabbage, cilantro and a little hoisen sauce in each. We dipped them in a great Asian sauce I got from Trader Joe’s.

But since this is an Italian food blog I wanted to do a little twist on the classic and try making them Italian style!

All you do is take your wrappers, place them in warm water til they melt a little and become limp. I then laid each wrapper on a clean dish towel and padded them dry
I had all my ingredients ready, cooked shrimp, marinated artichokes, (drained), roasted red pepper strips, and raw zucchini, julienned. Next, I placed everything onto a wrapper with a dollop of basil pesto, a drizzle of olive oil, a little salt and pepper, then rolled it all up like a burrito!

For my Italian version I used basil pesto as a dipping sauce, but I want to experiment with other things. Do any of you have any idea’s? I would love your input.

Next time you’re hesitant about trying something out of your comfort zone, don’t be, give it a try, because these were amazing!!

Have a relaxing weekend, and Buon Appetito!!