This recipe uses creme fraîche for a less oily potato salad with tang. Along with lemon, feta and herbs the dressing is all that’s needed to create a fresh take on potato salad, after topping it with crunchy lemony sugar snap peas.


overhead shot of potato salad with feta creme fraiche dressing, sugar snap peas and garnished with chive blossoms.

Why this recipe works

I don’t know about you, but I think typical potato salad leaves a lot to be desired, unless you are looking for a way to carb load with ease :). I love potatoes, especially the little ones, the “new” potatoes, about the size of a golf ball (in our grocery store The Little Potato Co. sells lots of them- not an affiliate link). When I created my Creme Fraîche Dressing and fell in love with its lack of oiliness, I immediately thought of dressing potatoes with it, for a new version of potato salad. As if the tangy, lemony flavor of the dressing wasn’t enough, I tossed blanched sugar snap peas in some lemon and a tad of olive oil for a marinated sugar snap pea vibe, and added them to the potato salad for the perfect tangy crunch. It’s lowkey awesome 😉

Ingredient Notes

  • Potatoes- you can use the small new potatoes I’m using/recommending, or you can use any potato, cut into golf ball size and boiled until just barely tender (overcooking makes for mushy potato salad). I love the small new potatoes for their less starchy tenderness.
  • Creme Fraîche Dressing- the recipe card sends you over to my separate recipe for this dressing. It takes just a few minutes to crumble feta and chop fresh herbs, and mix the dressing up with a fork. For extra specialness, I indicate roasting a head of garlic to squeeze into the dressing. If you prefer, you can use garlic powder. If you only have fresh garlic on hand, you can use it, but I’d only crush in 1/2 of an average size clove, otherwise it can overtake the flavor profile.
  • Sugar snap peas- these are the small fresh pea pods with fresh peas inside. They are not always readily available. You can use regular fresh pea pods as a substitute. See recipe card and notes for how to prepare them for the salad. They are not essential but they add a lot to the salad, in terms of crunch and color.

Step-by-step instructions

First, head over to my recipe for Creme Fraîche Dressing and take a few minutes to stir that together. As mentioned, ideally you roast a head of garlic (maybe the night before when making dinner?), so you can stir that into the dressing.

Bring a pot of water (3 qt size) to boil while you make the dressing.

mixed dressing, ready to be used or chilled.

After you set the dressing aside (you can chill it while prepping the potatoes and sugar snap peas) prepare the potatoes by cutting new potatoes in half, or quarters or whatever amount you need based on the size of your potatoes. Golf ball or slightly smaller sized chunks work well.

I like to prepare the sugar snap peas in one of two ways:

  • Cut them in half on the diagonal, exposing a bit of the peas inside.
  • If the peas are mature and fill the pod, you can break away one half of the pod, exposing the cute little peas, still attached to the other half of the pod.

I’ve not had luck lately getting sugar snap peas with big peas inside, so in the photos here, they are sliced in half (or left whole if too small).

When the water boils, drop the prepped sugar snap peas in, and blanche for barely a minute. This will make the peas bright green, take a bit of the raw flavor away, but leave them crunchy.

Use a slotted spoon or spatula to sift out the peas and plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water that you have prepped and placed next to the pot. Let them chill a few minutes then drain and pat dry.

Toss the sugar snap peas in a drizzle of olive oil and spritz of lemon and allow them to marinate while you complete the salad. I like to add a few drops of jalapeno tabasco for heat which gives the salad some more individuality, but you do you, add a pinch of cayenne, some red chili flakes, or nothing at all.

Allow the water to come to a boil again and add in the potato chunks, cooking until just barely tender. Be sure to taste along the way. You want the potatoes cooked and fork tender, but just barely. Overcooking the potatoes will make for a mushy salad. You should be able to cut through them with a fork, but they should not yield to the fork too easily.

I like to drain the potatoes and plunge into an ice bath as well, to be sure and stop the cooking process, but you can also drain and place in the fridge to cool down, either way.

The final step involves mixing the full amount of the creme fraiche dressing with the potatoes, then topping the whole thing with the marinated sugar snap peas (don’t add any leftover marinating liquid). I also like to snip some herbs over the top of the salad.

Tips for making this recipe

  • Make ahead- You can make the dressing ahead and let it chill for a day or three, and you can blanch the sugar snap peas ahead (they will yellow a bit from the lemon juice, however, so don’t do that ahead). Heck even the potatoes can be cooked at your leisure, allowing you to pull the whole salad together for a show stopping presentation in a matter of minutes.
  • Leftovers- this salad does well for up to three days of leftovers in the fridge.
  • Sugar snap peas- as you can see, I am not tossing the peas into the salad with the dressing. Rather, they are tossed on top of the salad, so they remain green and their flavor contrasts a bit with the rich tang of the potatoes in the dressing.
bowl of potato salad with serving utensils sitting on counter.
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overhead shot of potato salad with feta creme fraiche dressing, sugar snap peas and garnished with chive blossoms.

Feta and Creme Fraîche Potato Salad with Lemony Sugar Snap Peas

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Roast head of garlic (optional): 45 minutes
Servings4
Calories259
This recipe uses creme fraîche for a less oily potato salad with tang. Along with lemon, feta and herbs the dressing is all that’s needed to create a fresh take on potato salad, after topping it with crunchy lemony sugar snap peas.

Ingredients
 

Creme Fraîche Dressing (instructions listed below, click link for more recipe details)
  • 1/2 cup creme fraîche (can sub sour cream )
  • 2 oz feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs (heaping) (parsley, dill, basil)
  • 1 head of roasted garlic (6-8 cloves) (roasted ahead-see notes or sub garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (can include celery salt if you have)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder (can sub black pepper cracked or powder)
  • 1/2 large lemon juiced (about 1/4 cup of juice)
Salad Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs small new potatoes (can sub any potato)
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas (can sub fresh pea pods)

Method:
 

  • Roast head of garlic by cutting top bit off so cloves are exposed and wrap in foil, then cook for about 45 minutes on 350. It is done when garlic cloves are soft and can be squeezed out of their skin. See notes.
Make the creme fraîche dressing
  • Add 2 tbsp of water into the 1/2 cup of creme fraîche, and whisk to uniform consistency.
  • Crumble feta into dressing.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into dressing.
  • Use a fork to smoosh the garlic so it will mix well.
  • Add lemon juice, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Chop mixed herbs nice and small, so they are pleasant to eat (don't leave larger leaf pieces, rather, chop enough that herbs are almost finely chopped). Add to dressing.
  • At this point, stir well and taste. Add salt and pepper as desired (I don't season much with salt, especially with the feta in this dressing).
Prepare rest of salad ingredients
  • Bring pot (3 qt) of water to a boil. While you wait, prep the veggies.
  • If using small new potatoes that are about the size of gold balls then cut in half. If your potatoes are bigger, cut into chunks a bit smaller than golf balls.
  • Prep the sugar snap peas by washing, trimming of stem end as little as possible, and cutting in half diagonally. If the peas inside are big/mature and fill the pod you may be able to take off one half of the pod, and leave peas attached but exposed for fun.
  • Drop sugar snap pea pods into boiling water for barely a minute. Then use slotted utensil of some type to skim them out of the water and plunge into a bath of ice water in a bowl to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry.
  • Sprinkle the pea pods with a little olive oil and lemon juice and let them marinate in a container while you cook the potatoes.
  • Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add the potatoes, cooking for barely 10 minutes, depending on the exact size of your potatoes. You want them tender, but they should not yield to your fork too easily. You want the flesh to remain firm and not mushy. Drain and plunge into ice water or place in fridge to cool.
  • Mix the creme fraiche dressing with the potatoes. Top salad with marinated sugar snap peas, but DON'T add any of the marinade liquid. Garnish with snippets of fresh herbs.

Notes

Optional Roasted Garlic-cut the top off of a head of garlic, drizzle with a tad of oil, wrap in foil and bake in oven at 350 for an hour. The cloves will become soft and sweet, a perfect flavor for the dressing. You can use garlic powder if you don’t have time to roast a head of garlic. It adds a nice flavor, but I’ve made it both ways.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 475mg | Potassium: 902mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 3mg | Magnesium: 61mg | Net Carbohydrates: 33g
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5 from 1 vote

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Recipe Rating





One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t tell you how much more flavorful the creme fraiche makes this potato salad, and without added oil (which just disappears into the potatoes), I find the overall potato salad eating experience much more enjoyable. The herbs stay alive and are not wilted by the oil. It’s a win win in my book.