Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Potato Salad

'Kennebec' new potatoes.
Nothing beats the first potatoes of summer!  The potatoes at the Big Red Farm were planted by our student farm crew back in late April.  Below is a seasonal take on potato salad, guaranteed to be a hit at your next barbecue.  If you like, and you have them available, you can add other spring veggies, such as blanched asparagus, snap peas or regular peas, thinly sliced radishes, etc.  The pickled spring onions add a nice bite, without overpowering the spuds.

adapted from
serves 4

2 lbs new potatoes
1 to 1 1/2 lbs other spring veggies: blanched asparagus, snap peas, or regular peas, thinly sliced radishes, etc. (optional but recommended)

for pickles:
4 spring onions or scallions (about 6 oz)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

for dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with one inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the tip of a knife easily pierces through a potato. Drain the potatoes and let them cool until they’re almost room temperature. You can hasten this by covering them with cold water, and replacing the water a few times as it warms up.  Once they're cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks.

Meanwhile, pickle your scallions. Whisk vinegar, water, salt and sugar together in the bottom of a small container with a lid until the salt and sugar dissolve. Slice the bulbs and paler green parts into very thin coins and submerge them in the vinegar mixture. Cover and put in fridge until you’re ready to use them; if you can put them aside for an hour or even overnight, even better. Reserve the scallion greens.

When you’re ready to serve the salad, or an hour or two in advance, whisk the dressing ingredients and toss it with the potatoes (and any other vegetables you want to add) to taste -- you may find you don’t want to use all of it.  Stir in as many pickled onion coins as you please, save the rest for anything and everything. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, garnish with a few slices of scallion greens. Eat and enjoy!.

Do ahead: Pickles can be started in the day or days before. Potatoes can be boiled and chilled in fridge overnight, as can other vegetables. Vinaigrette can be made in advance as well, but I might wait until the last minute to toss it with the vegetables.

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