If you are looking for a new take on the creamy picnic potato salad, this roast potato salad with broccoli is one of the best make-ahead picnic salads that only gets better with time.
Take a break from creamy potato salad. Breathe new life into the picnic potato salad with the full flavour of potatoes roasted in their skins, combined with crisp sautéed greens and the freshness of a zesty vinaigrette dressing.
The added depth of flavour with roasted garlic in the dressing soaks beautifully into the robust salad veggies without making them soggy.
Finish with a crumble of salty feta or goats cheese and some toasted nuts of your choice.
A simple ingredient variation also makes this a great vegan potato salad – a great vegan picnic menu addition.
Picnic Menu Ideas for a no Mayo Potato Salad
Serve this broccoli potato salad as a central picnic dish or as a robust side to any number of picnic combinations.
It makes a great addition to a Mediterranean style picnic menu or mezze platter – Serve with any of these easy picnic food ideas for a Mediterranean twist:
- Crusty bread or flatbread
- Roasted peppers
- Grilled eggplant or baba ganoush eggplant dip.
- BBQ lamb or chicken skewers (these can be grilled at home and served cold)
Make it a main side to any bbq meats or a great addition to an antipasto style platter of prosciutto style cured meats and aged cheeses.
Broccoli Potato Salad Recipe
While this recipe calls for broccoli, I prefer to use broccolini or baby broccoli florets. They tend to be less bitter than normal broccoli and add a nice look and texture to the salad. Of course, normal broccoli is fine.
Broccoli Potato Salad Ingredients
- 1lb (500 gm) baby, fingerling, or new potatoes
- Sea salt (kosher salt)
- 2-3 Spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
- 6-8 sprigs (or one packet/bunch) of broccolini or baby broccoli. (See recipe notes for broccolini substitutes).
- 2 handfuls of arugula (rocket) *Optional
- 100 grams crumbly goats cheese or feta
- 2 Tablespoons roughly chopped pistachios (slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts are also good)
Potato Salad Vinaigrette Dressing with Roasted Garlic
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (divided for roasting the potatoes and dressing)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Small lime or lemon – Approx 4 tablespoons of fresh juice. You can also use the zest.
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon thyme, leaves removed from stems (if using normal thyme, add a sprinkle of lemon zest).
- 5-6 large cloves of garlic for roasting. (you can use fresh minced garlic if you prefer).
How to Make Broccoli Potato Salad with Roast Garlic Vinaigrette
1. Preheat oven to 430°F (220°C).
2. Wash potatoes and leaving the skins on, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and arrange on a baking sheet with whole cloves of garlic.
3. Roast until the potatoes are cooked through and the skins golden – around 30 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
I like to cook the potatoes in a fairly slow oven so they caramelise without becoming too crispy. You can also boil the potatoes first and toss them in olive oil with a little sea salt in a hot pan to brown the skins.
The garlic cloves will need to be removed before the potatoes are finished. Check halfway – You want the centre to be squishy – not completely dried out.
5. While the potatoes are cooking, quickly blanch (parboil) the broccolini stems in a pan of boiling water. Be sure not to overcook them. You still want some crunch in the stems. A minute or two will be more than enough.
6. When the broccolini is blanched, immediately run it under cold water to stop it cooking and place it straight in the fridge.
Some people like to plunge it in an ice bath but I find this additional prep unnecessary if you are careful not to overcook the broccolini. Cold running water and the fridge should suffice.
7. Make sure the potatoes and broccolini are completely cooled before assembling the salad.
8. Also while the potatoes are cooking, combine all of you salad dressing ingredients (less the oil used to coat the potatoes) in a bowl or jar and squeeze the roast garlic in disposing of the skins.
9. Give the garlic a mash with a fork or use a whisk to combine the dressing. I find this method blends the garlic into the vinaigrette better than shaking in a jar. You could also blitz in a mixer.
10. Once the potatoes and broccolini are cooled all the way through, toss through the dressing.
11. Toss through the chopped shallots and if serving immediately, a few handfuls of arugula if choosing to add it. Otherwise, save the arugula until just before serving.
If using any of the optional or substitute veg listed in the notes, add these now as well, especially if adding or substituting with kale, it likes a good soak in the dressing to tenderise.
12. Refrigerate until ready to pack your picnic.
13. Either when packing your picnic or when ready to serve, toss the salad again to ensure all veg is well coated with dressing and top with chopped pistachio (or nut of your choice) and crumbled feta or goats cheese.
Either use vegan feta or leave the cheese out altogether for a vegan potato salad.
How Long Will This Potato Salad Keep?
If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this salad will last at least 3 days without becoming sad or soggy.
See our tips for keeping picnic food cold to make sure your potato salad arrives looking fresh.