Molly Beauchemin

GC Market Day: Picnic Classics Revisited

GC Market Day is a Garden Collage feature where we spotlight new, intriguing recipes using ingredients sourced almost exclusively from the Farmers Market– right down to the butter and honey. This week, we highlight some delicious mayo-free recipes for two classic summer picnic staples– coleslaw and potato salad.

I love mayonnaise. On taste alone, I could take down a mayonnaise and tomato sandwich faster than Harriet the Spy. But after the first time I looked at the ingredient label for the mayonnaise my mom bought in my childhood, our love affair ended. Occasionally I will make mayonnaise myself, with farm fresh eggs and a carefully-selected oil (a recipe for another day), but most of the time, I simply redesign a recipe to do without it.

- Advertisements -

After all, many of the mayonnaise-drenched dishes of my (and probably your) childhood were covering for previously-frozen veggies and lackluster ingredients. When you use the freshest stuff around and cook to the season, you don’t miss the white stuff one bit.

Below, find our take on two summer classics without a single dollop of mayo. Aside from the health benefits, these recipes travel well and give you the option of taking picnic food from the grass and onto the dining room table.

Market-Fresh Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes

The key to this potato salad is perfectly-roasted potatoes. I used large red-skinned potatoes from the market, but really any potato will do as long as you adjust your cooking time for a softer variety, like fingerlings.


  • 3 large red baking potatoes
  • 1 modest bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • really good olive oil
  • 1/4 red jalapeno or other local chili
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut potatoes into chunky 1-inch pieces – a little variety in size will offer different textures after cooking, but a lot will lead to over or under cooked pieces.
  3. Thoroughly toss potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper (do not simply drizzle it over top) and make sure to coat every piece.
  4. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 30-45 minutes, checking frequently and rotating or tossing halfway through.
  5. Finely dice chili pepper and soak in a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar until ready to serve.
  6. Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil.
  7. While water is heating, prepare scapes by cutting off the bulbs at the top and the stiff bottoms. Chop into 1-2 inch sections and toss in boiling water.
  8. Remove scapes after a few minutes and allow to dry.
  9. Combine the potatoes, scapes, drained peppers, and chopped thyme, then squeeze over lemon juice and toss.
  10. Finish with flake salt and pepper to taste.

Cabbage Season Cole Slaw

Cabbage is actually in season all year round, but the heads you’ll find in the summer are those massive, almost flowering orbs that look like mutant roses. In the summer, cabbage is at its best raw, like most things. A simple, slightly-sour coleslaw is the perfect antidote to the only warm food I want to eat in August: grilled meat.


  • 1 head of cabbage cut to thin ribbons
  • 4 large carrots (go purple for a fun monochromatic look!), cleaned and peeled into ribbons with a good, sharp peeler.
  • 1 head fennel, sliced as thin as possible and separated into strips
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  1. Wash and chop cabbage, fennel and parsley. Mix and set aside.
  2. Combine all other ingredients and pour over veggies and herbs.
  3. The raw garlic will mellow with time, which will make the dressing even yummier, but if you’re going to dress the slaw and then let it sit for more than a few hours, you might try a thicker cut on the cabbage if you want to maintain crunch.
- Advertisements -
Related Articles