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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

MAKES: 4 servings
TIME: 30 minutes, plus time to cool

To me, the best and simplest potato salad is made of just-boiled potatoes dressed in a freshly made vinaigrette. If you’re in a hurry, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl, then just add the potatoes. Parsley and chopped onion are easy, flavorful additions. After that, you can add any of the suggestions from the following list.
 If it’s classic potato salad (with mayonnaise) you’re after, see the variation and be sure to check out the chart that follows.

11/2 pounds waxy potatoes, like red new potatoes or
fingerling; or all-purpose, like Yukon Gold (or even
starchy baking potatoes are fine)
Salt

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped scallions or red or yellow onion
1/2 cup Mustard Vinaigrette (page 201), or any other
vinaigrette (pages 199–202), plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

1- Peel the potatoes if you like (or wash and scrub them well), then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Put
them in a pot with enough water to cover them and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently. Cook the potatoes until tender but still firm and not all mushy, 15 minutes or so, depending on the potato. Drain, rinse in cold water for a minute, then drain again.
2- Toss the still-warm potatoes with the parsley and scallion. Add the vinaigrette until the mixture is as
dressed as you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding black pepper. Serve as is or refrigerate for an hour or so to chill the salad. (At this point, you may refrigerate
the salad, covered, for up to a day.) 
Classic Potato Salad. Omit the vinaigrette. Whisk together 1/2 cup mayonnaise (to make your own, see
page 41) with 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar. (Mayonnaise flavored with herbs, garlic, mustard, or virtually any seasoning is fine here.) Taste and make sure there’s enough salt. Proceed with
the recipe, using the mayonnaise mixture as the dressing.
Grilled Potato Salad. Also good with sweet potatoes: Instead of boiling the potatoes, grill them according
to the directions on page 342. While they are still warm, proceed with the recipe from Step 2.

15 Simple Additions to Potato Salad

You will probably need to add more dressing, depending
on the ingredient.
1. Chopped fresh herbs, like chives, chervil, dill, oregano,
rosemary, or sage, to taste
2. Chopped sweet pickle
3. Chopped celery or fennel
4. Chopped red bell pepper, raw or roasted (page 330),
or use canned pimientos
5. Capers or roughly chopped olives
6. Chopped shallots, raw or lightly cooked in olive oil
7. Cooked fresh peas (or thawed frozen)
8. Chopped Hard-Boiled Egg (page 791)
9. Cayenne or minced fresh chile (jalapeƱo, Thai, serrano, or habanero

Which Potato for Salads?

In most instances, you want low-starch “waxy” potatoes for salad, which keep their shape even after boiling.
Waxy potatoes, often referred to as “new”—even when they’re not freshly dug—have thin skins and may be red or tan (tans ones are called “white,” though they’re not even close). You might even see purple ones, which make stunning salads.
But you might also like to try using starchy (“baking”) potatoes, like Idaho or other russets. The breakdown of their starches gives the salad a little creaminess—if you were thinking negatively, you might call it gumminess, but it’s all a matter of taste. In addition, their mealy texture is not a bad attribute in salads.
Or you can use a so-called all-purpose potato, like Yukon Gold, which will give you a firm potato whose
exterior disintegrates just a little.
My personal preference is a waxy potato, but yours may differ. For much more about potatoes, see page 336.

10. Curry powder (to make your own, see pages 66–67) or other spice mixtures (start with a teaspoon)
11. Chopped or mashed anchovies
12. Crumbled cooked bacon or bits of ham or prosciutto
13. Grated hard cheese, like Parmesan, cheddar, or manchego, or crumbled feta, queso fresco, or ricotta
salata
14. Sliced or grated radishes
15. Cooked and chopped greens, like escarole or kale, or
raw tender greens like spinach, arugula, or watercress


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