Give Potato Salad A Tangy Twist With Rhubarb

Potato salad hardly needs an introduction. The time-tested, ubiquitous dish is well-loved for its simplicity, ease of preparation, delectable taste, and a sense of nostalgia tying back to childhood picnics. Paired well with grilled meat, sandwiches, and a large variety of other dishes, it's a trusted, dependable side dish that always completes the meal.

As good as potato salad is, there are only so many times you can eat a dish before it becomes repetitive. Enter rhubarb, an unexpected addition that can breathe new life into an old standby. Packed with tart, tangy notes that are almost astringent, the vegetable brings a zing of excitement to the dish's traditional creamy, mildly sweet taste. 

Rhubarb's natural acidity cuts through the richness of the mayo dressing, offering a refreshing twist that gives this wholesome salad a more intricate depth. Plus, with a crunchy texture to contrast with the potato's starchy softness, it makes each bite a much more fun and enjoyable experience.

What to know when adding rhubarb to your potato salad

To incorporate rhubarb into potato salad, start by selecting the right stalks. Go for slender, red stalks if sweetness and a tender texture are desired. It's also important that they're shiny and firm, with relatively little blemishes.

Then, trim off the ends, the leaves, and any tough strings, and chop the stalks into bite-sized pieces. Depending on the rhubarb's ripeness, either poach it briefly with a little water and sugar until it softens or leave it raw for a more intensely tangy flavor — although the second one might be a more acquired taste.

As for the dressing, it's always good to start with the classic mayo, sour cream, and mustard combo. If looking for something with a more pronounced creaminess, try Søren Staun Petersen's mixture of crème fraiche, mayonnaise, Dijon, salt, pepper, red onion, and chives (via Epicurious). Meanwhile, Chatelaine prefers to add Greek yogurt, vinegar, and honey for a sweet-tangy touch. Don't be afraid to test out a few recipes to find what works best, and of course, make any necessary adjustments along the way to balance out the rhubarb's bold flavors.