The Easy, Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Side Dish I Serve Every Time I Entertain
When you entertain with any sort of frequency, you learn quickly the importance of abiding by the golden rule: Keep it (relatively) simple. Sure, you want a meal that'll impress the table, but you also don't want to spend days prepping for your average Saturday dinner party at the risk of losing it before the guests even arrive.
Even as someone who thoroughly enjoys cooking, baking, and hosting, I've learned that toning it down is the key to happy hosting. I relish double-duty dishes and smart make-aheads that still look professionally pulled together. Lo and behold, I've found a perfect side dish that checks all those boxes, and it happens to have a very attractive perk for this aspiring "reducetarian"—it's 100 percent vegan and nobody would know it.
To be honest, I couldn't tell you the first time I made Ambitious Kitchen's Vegan Potato Salad with Herbed Tahini Sauce because I've made it so many times since then to count. I whip it up on busy weeknights, prepare it for backyard cookouts, and serve it consistently at dinner parties for crowds from five to 15.
So what makes the side dish a reliable winner at our table? For starters, it's incredibly simple. Aside from the time it takes to blitz the dressing ingredients in a food processor, there's barely any prep involved, and the majority of the ingredients are staples I often have on hand (I've used dried herbs in a pinch). The simplicity also makes it easy to customize. Any and all potatoes in your pantry (with the exception of sweet) are fair game here, and while green onions add a nice pop of green to the plate, I've also served the potatoes, roasted, over a thin bed of arugula with fresh cherry tomatoes peppered throughout for an ever bigger, beautiful boost of color. (Bonus: The addition gets both your starch and your salad into a single side dish. One. And. Done.)
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But let's talk about the dressing. Oh, the dressing. If you think nothing can top the mayo-loaded salad dressings your Aunt Martha brings to every family reunion, go ahead and give this delectable dream a whirl. Made with a tahini and almond milk base, the tasty topping achieves the creaminess of a dairy-based sauce with a slight nutty flavor that's—dare I say—way better than anything with mayonnaise in it. Couple that with a potpourri of fresh herbs, garlic, and a hint of Dijon mustard, and the Tahini Sauce turns the dish into one big flavor bomb that even the most die-hard dairy fans won't be able to resist.