Yes, there is such thing as vegan Southern food. In her beautiful new cookbook, the actress and home cooking star Tabitha Brown, who was born and raised in Eden, North Carolina, shares plant-based Southern classics such as mac and cheese, peach cobbler, and this picnic-ready potato salad.
“Who made the potato salad? Growing up in my family, that was always the question, whether we were with Moma’s mom—that was Granny—or my daddy’s mama—she was Grandma Etta,” Brown writes in Cooking from the Spirit. “Everybody always wants to know who made the potato salad, because it’s just that important. If you’re going to eat it, it has to be right.”
She adds: “Potato salad is one of those things that can be served in any season, right? It’s great in the summer, for a Fourth of July cookout. It’s great during the holidays, for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s great at a birthday party or baby shower. And I’ll ask again, don’t we love potatoes? It is really one of those things that can be made and enjoyed year-round—but it better be done right. You don’t ever want to be the person where they be like, ‘Who made the potato salad? Oh, Lord, not…Oh, Lord, nah, I’m all right. I ain’t gonna have that.’ So make sure you make this potato salad so ain’t nobody looking at you crazy!”
A note: Most of Brown’s recipes, like this one, include minimal or no specific measurements so that you can season to your own taste and scale to fit your needs.