A creamy, vegan potato salad you can linger over

A creamy, vegan potato salad you can linger over

By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Creamy, tangy, sweet and savory, a mayo-dressed potato salad is the crowd-pleasing heart of countless American cookouts and picnics — just as long as you make sure to keep it out of the sun.

But what if your crowd is not among the legion of mayonnaise lovers? Alternative options abound! Potato salad in some form or other has been around for centuries, but only since the 1920s has jarred mayonnaise been the defining ingredient in its dressing.

The beauty of potato salad is that you can use pretty much any kind of dressing, dip or sauce to make it. If you love it on vegetables, starches, proteins, your fingers, it will probably taste just as good tossed with warm chunks of velvety potato. Maybe even better. Hot bacon dressing, herby pesto, garlicky yogurt all make fantastic potato salads, without a jar of mayo in sight.

For this version, I wanted to come up with something that was as creamy as mayonnaise, but vegan-friendly and able to sit outside for hours without anyone’s getting anxious.

The key is tahini.

When seasoned with lemon and garlic and whisked with ice water, tahini goes from gloppy and oily to pale, thick and emulsified with a bright and pungent flavor that’s also earthy and rich.

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