Low Carb Mock Potato Salad

Low-carb mock potato salad is perfect whether you’re Keto, looking to lower your carb intake, or simply want a healthy, delicious side dish to finish out the summer and take you through the colder months.

Low-carb mock potato salad is perfect whether you’re Keto, looking to lower your carb intake, or simply want a healthy, delicious side dish to finish out the summer and take you through the colder months.   

 

 

No amount of Mom’s savory brown butter sauce could save the day when steamed cauliflower appeared on my childhood dinner plate.  But even though I once wrote it off as mushy and bland, I’m the first to admit that this healthy, cruciferous vegetable has come a very long way.

I’ve been truly impressed with renditions of pizza crust, bread sticks, rice, bagels, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese that were crafted out of – you guessed it – cauliflower. Accordingly, I was open-minded when I first noticed recipes for low-carb “potato” salad – without any potatoes.

Always feeling compelled to check out the latest trends, I first gave this low-carb swap a go one Friday last spring.  When my son issued a last minute request for a friend to stay for dinner, I momentarily cringed.

Low-carb mock potato salad is perfect whether you’re Keto, looking to lower your carb intake, or simply want a healthy, delicious side dish to finish out the summer and take you through the colder months.

My family lovingly tolerates my continual stream of kitchen “experiments,” but not every 16-year-old boy is accustomed to these culinary curveballs.  Thankfully, meatball sandwiches were also on the menu and would sustain everyone if the fake potato salad bombed!

I served the meal without comment, only to notice my son picking at the salad with his fork. Having spied pieces of egg, he asked if it was egg salad.  “No” I said happily, and left it at that.

Not being one to taste without a clear notion of what’s entering his mouth, my son’s questions persisted until I confessed that this was cauliflower salad posing as potato salad. I promptly told our guest that he didn’t have to eat it if he didn’t like it.  I truly enjoy having my sons’ friends for dinner and didn’t want to scare one away!

Initial trepidation aside, everyone ate and enjoyed the faux potato salad.  Second helpings were an encouraging indication that they weren’t merely being polite.

Nevertheless, I thought this recipe might be a little too out there”  to share with the masses. Adapted from Skinnytaste, the dressing is that of a traditional potato salad, but remaking a classic in a decidedly newfangled way is not for everyone.

Low-carb mock potato salad is perfect whether you’re Keto, looking to lower your carb intake, or simply want a healthy, delicious side dish to finish out the summer and take you through the colder months.

Over time, however, I shared the recipe with various friends, and the feedback was consistently positive.  One friend passed it along to another, who made the salad for a potluck.  The bowl was scraped clean and several guests requested the recipe.  Another friend gave the recipe to her father, who made it for a family gathering.  One fan boldly proclaimed that he would never make potato salad with potatoes again.

Though I didn’t much care for steamed cauliflower when I was young, in this case the method really works. It mimics the texture of boiled potatoes and doesn’t enhance cauliflower’s nutty flavor, as roasting would.  As much as I typically prefer my veggies al dente, here the cauliflower is best cooked until tender – but not mushy.

To get this just right, I recommend tasting every minute or so after the first seven minutes.  Also, drain the cooked cauliflower well, but do not rinse it with cold water in an effort to halt the cooking process.  The residual water that clings to the florets will quickly evaporate from the very hot cauliflower, thereby ensuring that the dressing doesn’t become watery.  However, this won’t happen if the cauliflower has been rinsed and cooled.

This light yet filling salad complements traditional summer fare quite well, but keep it in mind throughout the colder months, too.  While it’s commonplace to serve this type of salad chilled (and I usually do), I also think it tastes quite good when it’s warm.

Low-carb mock potato salad is perfect whether you’re Keto, looking to lower your carb intake, or simply want a healthy, delicious side dish to finish out the summer and take you through the colder months.   

Low Carb Mock Potato Salad
Yield: 6 servings (or about 1 1/2 quarts)
Low-carb mock potato salad is perfect whether you’re Keto, looking to lower your carb intake, or simply want a healthy, delicious side dish to finish out the summer and take you through the colder months.
Ingredients
  • 16-20 ounces cauliflower florets, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (104 grams) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh dill (plus extra for garnish, optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 4 hard boiled eggs (plus an optional 5th egg for garnish)

 

Instructions
  1. Place 1 inch of water in a large pot with 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, cover, and simmer over medium heat until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Start tasting after about 7 minutes and make sure the cauliflower is nicely tender but not mushy.) Drain well (don’t rinse as you want the heat of the cauliflower to evaporate the residual water) and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, pickle juice, mustard, fresh dill, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Peel and chop the eggs and add to the bowl with the cauliflower. (I like to finely chop two eggs and then cut the other two into bigger chunks.) Slice the remaining optional egg for garnish.
  4. Add the minced pickles, celery, and red onion to the cauliflower, and then stir in the mayo mixture.  Toss gently to evenly coat.  Garnish with the optional sliced egg and fresh dill. Enjoy right away or cover and chill until ready to serve.  I think this salad tastes good whether served warm, cold, or room temperature.

 

Notes & Tips

*A 2-pound head of cauliflower will provide enough with some to spare.  You’ll want 5-6 cups of the chopped florets.  If you prefer a light coating of dressing, use the greater amount of cauliflower.  Also, if making ahead, you may wish to toss with roughly 3/4 of the dressing to start and then stir in the remaining amount before serving.

Nutrition Information: each serving (1/6 of the recipe) contains 5.5 g carbs, 2g sugar, 8g protein, 20 grams fat, and 222 calories

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

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Comments

  1. Tracey Post author

    I made this last night and even my skeptical husband raved. It’s a great low-carb option that sacrifices nothing. Will make again for sure!

    Reply