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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Potato salad redux

More things should be called redux.  According to Wikipedia it is a post-positive adjective to describe bringing things back.  It probably doesn’t really apply to potato salad and just makes me sound like a bit of an idiot.  Who am I to say whether or not potato salad was ever ‘out’ to begin with? Or if my variations even have that potential?  All I know is that potato salad drenched in mayonnaise is just depressing, especially when it has those tiny, soggy pickled cucumber pieces in it.  Sometimes its really watery and taints everything else on your plate, sometimes with that horrible slightly split look like the potatoes were mixed in when they were too hot, mainly its just boring.  Here are 3 alternatives which I really like. 

For each salad buy nice quality salad potatoes of equal sizes, and boil them in their skins in salted water until done but not disintegrated.  Peel their skins off (or not) when they are just cool enough to touch and toss them in their dressings while still warm.

Harissa potato salad

Incredibly simple.  Mix the potatoes with a big spoonful of harissa paste.  That’s it and its delicious.  You could dress it up with some chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts and orange zest (as I have done in the past) but actually, it doesn’t really need it.

Pesto potato salad

Mix together pesto with a little lemon juice until you have the consistency of salad dressing.  Toss with the potatoes.  When the potatoes are cooled add rocket leaves and toasted pumpkin seeds.  This is also very good with cooked broccoli and peas added in too.  Some halved cherry tomatoes would also make a lovely addition.

Grain mustard and sundried tomato potato salad

Make vinaigrette with 2 parts olive oil, 1 part cider/white wine vinegar, a spoonful of wholegrain mustard and a few drops of water.  Shake well and dress the potatoes.  Add some sundried tomatoes (chopped depending on their size) and finely sliced spring onions.  This salad is one of the staples of my family’s Shabbat table in the summertime, and so I cannot recommend any extras, it would just be wrong.

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