Keep your Miracle Whip. I'd say keep your mayo, too, but I do use it, sparingly, on tuna. And egg salad.
Somehow, and I truly don't know how this happened, I ended up marrying a mayo guy. Mayo on his turkey. Mayo on his fries ("when I'm feeling Belgian," he says). Even, back in the day when we'd go to Chili's, mayo on his hamburgers. I know! (I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I heard, "I'll take the Old-Timer with cheese. Just meat, cheese, bread, and mayo.")
That's love for you.
So mayo and I can co-exist but we're not, like, involved. As a result, I've never been a fan of traditional deli-style potato salad. Blech. Cold potatoes slathered in mayo? Makes me think of a wayward sneeze. Sorry, just no.
Salading up the potatoes with other moisturizers -- say, olive oil -- yields a respectable result, but there's often still something missing for me. If you really want me to eat potato salad, and enjoy it, I'm going to need more.
Caramelized shallots, for example. And not just a few, but a whole tangled mess of them. Preferably in a 2:1 ratio to the spuds.
See, certain foods -- pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, tapenade, roasted red peppers, and caramelized alliums -- always slay me. Put me on a sandwich line and I'm guaranteed to pick the menu item with those sidekicks. Grilled vegetables, rare roast beef, dry turkey, dirt -- whatever -- if you're putting caramelized shallots on it, I'm buying.
So here you go. It's on me.
Recipe for Mayo-Free Potato Salad with Caramelized Shallots
A picnic classic without the gloppy mayo, this closer-to-French-style potato salad gets its personality from an embarrassing quantity of caramelized shallots. Give yourself time. Browning the shallots takes a good 35 to 40 minutes of very little effort. Rush things, and you'll be very sorry indeed.
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
7 shallots, peeled and and sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound baby potatoes, scrubbed gently but unpeeled
1-1/2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
generous handful Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
coarse salt and additional pepper, for serving
Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grinding of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a uniform deep, golden brown. Reduce the heat as necessary so shallots do not burn.
While the shallots cook, prepare the potatoes: Place potatoes in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover by about one inch. Bring to a boil. Boil steadily for 8 to 10 minutes (or longer, depending on size), or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, then return to the saucepan, uncovered and off-heat, to keep ever-so-slightly warm.
Prepare the vinaigrette: In a large serving bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and a little salt and pepper. Slowly stream in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Slice the potatoes into 1/4" thick disks. Add potatoes, shallots, and parsley to the vinaigrette and give a nice stir. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt, and serve warm or at room temperature.