Peruvian Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad is one of the simplest potato salads you can make with only a handful of ingredients. If you love salt and vinegar chips, this is for you.
My Grandmother made this Peruvian oil and vinegar potato salad and although it's simple to prepare with only a few ingredients, it was always devoured with people wanting more. It’s perfect to make any time because it’s low fuss, no fuss.
She would use yellow or russet potatoes and boil them whole until tender. They were peeled after cooling for a bit and then sliced and mixed with the other ingredients.
Peruvian yellow potatoes are similar to Yukon Gold. I find those potatoes to break down too much in this salad and chose to use baby red potatoes instead. They hold their shape well and I don’t have to peel them which is a win-win for me.
I halve the potatoes if they're baby, quarter them if they're small, or cut them into 6 pieces if they're larger. Basically, you want them pretty much equal in size and bite size as well.
Again, red potatoes tend to hold their shape better than russet or yellow which gives you a hearty potato salad with less mush.
MORE DELICIOUS POTATO OPTIONS
THE SECRET TO FLAVORING THE POTATOES
Adding vinegar and salt to the water for boiling the potatoes gives it a head start to adding flavor to the potatoes as they cook. Another secret is to add the dressing to the potatoes right after they're cooked and drained.
NOTE: WHEN BOILING THE POTATOES IN THE VINEGAR WATER, THE SMELL OF VINEGAR WILL FILL THE KITCHEN. IT'S WORTH IT.
PREPARING THE ONIONS
The trick to making the red onions less harsh is to slice them thin then “wash” them to detach the membrane. This is done the same way as when preparing my salsa criolla.
Put the sliced onions in a bowl of cold water with a good pinch of salt. Squeeze and squish onion slices in the salted water with your hand over and over. The grit from the salt separates the membrane from the onion and removes some of the intensity. The process is repeated once more, if needed.
After the onions are "washed", transfer them into a bowl with the remaining ingredients.
When the potatoes are fork tender and drained, they're placed on top of the onions. The heat from the potatoes soften the onions just enough to “cook” them while leaving enough crunch to contrast with the softened potatoes.
The dressing is simply oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s similar to salt and vinegar chips.
Sometimes simple ingredients are just enough to flavor a dish and in this case, it’s the red wine vinegar and kosher salt. The oil mellows out the pungency of the vinegar and the pepper adds a little heat.
You don’t have to worry about mayonnaise spoiling this one. This oil and vinegar potato salad is perfect for cookouts or as a side dish any time of year. Serve it warm, room temperature, or cold.
This is one of my KISS recipes - keep it short simple. This recipe only has 5 ingredients.
NOTE: It’s my rule of thumb that water, salt, and pepper do not count as ingredients as they are staples in the kitchen.
Life is too short for mediocre food.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?
PERUVIAN OIL AND VINEGAR POTATO SALADPRINT PIN SAVESaved!
- 3 pounds red potatoes See NOTES 1
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt for boiling potatoes
- ¾ cup white vinegar See NOTES 2
- 1 large red onion or sweet onion halved, and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste I use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon pepper per pound of potatoes
- Place potatoes in a large stockpot and add vinegar and salt. Add enough water to cover by an inch over potatoes. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 - 25 minutes. If you sliced the potatoes small, check after 15 minutes. You want them tender and softer rather than firmer. Red potatoes hold their shape well.
- Meanwhile, place onions in a large bowl and run under cold water with a good pinch or two of kosher salt. Toss and squeeze with your hand to separate the slices and “wash” the onions. This will detach the membrane from the onion and slightly mellow them. Drain completely then rinse and drain again. Place the onions back in the same large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk together the oil and red wine vinegar and pour over the onions.
- When potatoes are fork tender, drain and add on top of onions. The heat from the potatoes will soften the onions while leaving just enough crunch.
- Toss gently to allow the potatoes to absorb the dressing. The longer it sits, the more flavor is absorbed. Can be served hot, warm, or cold.
- These are great for leftovers.
- If you want an extra treat, fry these in some olive oil and serve them for breakfast along with your eggs. DELICIOUS!