Grilled Baby Potato & Broccolini Picnic Salad

Though June 21st is the official first day of summer ,  don’t you feel like Memorial Day weekend is the quintessential kick-off for summertime festivities?
Kids are either out of school, or counting down the days to “No more pencils, no more books…..” The weather is getting warm (or if you live here, HOT!), and we are ready to hit the road, whether its to the beach, the mountains, or your best friend’s backyard.
What better way to celebrate these extended days?
Let’s eat our food outside!

This month’s 5 star Makeover theme is picnic food; just in time for Memorial Day weekend, and all of the lazy days of summer that lay ahead.

When it comes to picnic food, I can’t help but think of the American staple,  potato salad.  So many directions you can go–I had to put a spin on this classic perennial favorite.
Having just finished a week of cooking classes,  I had a  jar of roasted garlic oil  reserved from the carnitas I made. I  told everyone in class, that saving the olive oil in which the garlic roasted was a very good idea. It would make  wonderful as a base for a salad dressing, drizzled on bread or as I have used it here, brushed on vegetables before grilling.

I don’t know about you, but when the weather is nice, I like to do as much cooking out on the grill as possible, and that goes for veggies too. So my potato salad will get its start with the warm garlic infused flavors you see here. The vegetables really don’t need a whole lot of anything else, and would be wonderful sitting alongside some grilled chicken or steak all on their own.

But to make this a “salad” I needed to add a few additional ingredients. Tomatoes and cilantro were added along with a roasted jalapeno vinaigrette to add a little bit of zip.



You’ll want to serve this salad at room temperature to enjoy all of the flavors at their finest, which makes it ideal for the portable picnic. You can make it ahead of time, and  if you want to have some fun with this, pick up some Chinese take out boxes at our local craft store, or pack in individual mason jars.

Go ahead and vary the ingredients too, depending on what you find at the market: corn, zucchini, asparagus, all would make excellent candidates for this spin on traditional potato salad.

So what about you? Are you heading anywhere this weekend?   I have been traveling a lot these last few weeks, and think that spending a quiet weekend here at home on the back porch sounds just about right. I plan to catch up on my favorite blogs, and can’t wait to see what all of the other participants have come up with this month!

Thanks to our hosts, Natasha of 5 Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! who  will be posting a round up of all of the recipes on their sites tomorrow. Be sure to check them out!

Grilled Baby Potato & Broccolini Picnic Salad

Garlic Oil (see recipe below)

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes

1 pound broccolini

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings

2 medium tomatoes, diced (red & yellow if available)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic oil over potatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to coat potatoes evenly with garlic oil mixture. Bake potatoes 30 minutes. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauce pan filled with water to boil. Add broccolini, and cook 2 minutes. Transfer broccolini to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. Set aside.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Brush potaotes, broccolini, and red onions with garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes, onions, and broccolini directly on grill grate.

Cook time:

Broccolini: 2 minutes per side

Potatoes: 5 minutes per side

Onions: 5 minutes per side

Remove vegetables from grill as they finish cooking, and transfer to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature.

Add tomatoes and cilantro to bowl. Add desired amount of dressing (recipe follows) and toss well to combine.

6-8 servings



2 or 3 roasted jalapeno chilies, peeled and seeded

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt


For dressing:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.


Garlic Oil

3/4 cup olive oil

3 heads  garlic, excess paper removed, top trimmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic in small baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic. Cover with alluminum foil; bake 1 hour. Remove garlic from oil and cool completely. Reserve garlic oil.



16 thoughts on “Grilled Baby Potato & Broccolini Picnic Salad”

  1. Such a colorful salad, I love everything is prepared on the grill. The dressing sounds very flavorful with a nice kick from jalapenos. Excellent!

  2. All the colors in this salad are gorgeous and the potatoes are especially pretty with their grill marks. Definitely the perfect picnic salad!

  3. I’m with you all the way! We’re fortunate to be able to grill year round and I take full advantage of it. Beautiful colors, texture, and flavor here! And a vinaigrette with a little kick is perfect. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  4. Absolutely delightful!I love everything here and it is just perfect for a picnic our outdoor feast. I am so crazy about the add of cilantro here, such a bright “pick me up” flavor 🙂
    I will most certainly bring the tuna sandwiches is you agree to bring along these wonderful and flavorful potatoes 🙂 Nice addition to the gourmet picnic theme!

  5. Beautiful colors! I love vegetables on the grill–it imparts such a nice flavor. Enjoy the your relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

  6. What a gorgeous salad! I’m always looking for alternatives to the typical full of mayonnaise potato salad. This is beautiful AND healthy! Definitely trying this soon! Happy memorial day!

  7. How pretty! We do a lot of foil-pouch veggie grilling in the summer – cut potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, etc. season with something or other that we’re in the mood for that night, dot with butter and grill. This looks like a great option! We could still do the pouch, but use an infused oil instead of butter and round it out with a dressing, etc. I’ll definitely be trying it both ways. Thanks!! 🙂

  8. Well I have been saying we need to resuscitate our poor neglected grill, and if this salad isn’t inspiration I don’t know what is! Beautiful.

  9. What a stunning salad. I love me some broccolini and it being the main attraction here, i think i’ll bookmark it! 🙂 hope you’re enjoying your holiday.

  10. I don’t wanna go back to work tomorrow (ugh)!
    I would do grilling as much as I can when the weather is nice too but unfortunately here in Seattle is still!. Grilled pototo and veggie for salad is such a great idea for picnic! It makes me feel like summer as thinking of it. The dressing is easy and flavorful!

  11. Hi Debi – what a wonderful salad, such a great contribution to the makeover!
    It never occurred to me to grill broccolini, I am definitely stealing that idea!

  12. I am all for potato salad in whatever form it comes and this one sounds like it has my name written all over it! Love the grilled elements and would just love a bowl right now 🙂

  13. I have been looking at this recipe ever since it was featured on BlogHer, and today is the day I am putting it together for my family (we are having a big crowd). This, I have no doubt, will pair fantastic with our roast of prime rib. Thank you for the recipe idea!


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