Potato salad can take many forms. It can be the cubed variety often found at American barbecues, the chunky variations served alongside German cuisine (potato salad is said to have originated in Germany), or even Gado Gado, which is a satay-laden Indonesian dish that technically could also be considered a potato salad.
It can be served warm or cold, as a side or as a main, but it usually consists of steamed potatoes and some sort of creamy and/or fatty element, often but not strictly mayonnaise. The rest can be left up to cook discretion and imagination. Which is why I felt compelled to present this less-than-conventional as my recipe for the week.
It may not neatly fall into any one cultural niche, but it took influence from Russian potato salads, which often contain a briny element (like pickles which I swapped for olives) and a meat (like diced ham which was substituted by small chunks of TVP). It features shredded as opposed to cubed potatoes–Not just because I prefer this texture but, frankly, because it makes this dish easier to cook. Meaning my Russian-inspired shredded potato salad can be whipped up in a matter of 30 minutes or less. Serve it alongside a veggie burger or perhaps some vegan meatballs and you’ve got yourself a well-balanced meal.
Russian-Inspired Vegan Shredded Potato Salad
- 2 large white potatoes
- 1/3 cup texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 12 green pimiento olives
- 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
1. Use a cheese grater to shred potatoes, then add to saucepan and set on high heat.
2. Add TVP, 1.5 cups of water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat and stir continuously until potatoes are soft, which should take about 15 minutes (If needed, add a bit more water to prevent sticking).
4. Transfer potatoes into bowl and let cool.
5. Slice olives in half and set aside.
6. Once potatoes have cooled, stir through mayonnaise and olives, then add breadcrumbs and serve once more.
7. Serve at room temperature or reheat if desired.
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Photo: Quincy Malesovas