Saturday, September 26, 2009

I hate potato salad

So that is why I made this version of the old classic. It has a vinegar and oil based dressing, making it much more palatable to people who don't enjoy goopy, potentially e. coli infected mayo-based potato salad. Plus it has haricots verts (or plain old green beans), roma tomatoes and hulled peas, making it delightfully refreshing and rustic.

Here's the (slightly modified) recipe, borrowed from "Once Upon a Tart"

1/2 red onion, halved again and cut into thin stripsApprox 1 lb purple hull peas, shucked, rinsed and simmered in 4 cups unsalted water for 1-2 hours or until fork-tender
4 cups salted water
5 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1" cubes
4 cups salted water
1/2 lb haricots vert (yellow, green or both), de-stringed and cut on the diagonal.

4-5 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian flat leaf parlsey
1 tsp fresh lemon thyme, minced


1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
a few shakes of pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Start by placing the sliced red onions in a large bowl (this bowl needs to fit the entire salad). Pour the drained Hull peas on top of the red onions while still very hot so that the steam can soften the onions. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring the salted water and potatoes to a simmer over medium heat. Once boiling reduce the heat and slowly simmer for 30-35 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain and add them on top of the Hull peas.

In a medium size pot bring the other 4 cups of water to a rolling boil on high heat. Place the haricots vert in the boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Drain and immediately run very cold water over them for another 60 seconds or until they begin to cool off. That is blanching the green beans and will still allow them to retain all of their flavor and color and much of their crunch without being offensively "green" tasting. Once fully drained pour the green beans on top of the potatoes.

Put the roma tomatoes, capers and herbs on top of the haricots vert in the large bowl.

To make the dressing, put the vinegar and s&p in a medium sized measuring bowl. While swiftly whisking the mixture, pour the olive oil in a steady stream. This is called an emulsion and will help the olive oil to mix with the vinegar without seperating too much.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss using a large spoon (or your hands) until all ingredients are well coated. Serve while still warm or at room temperature.

I'm not gonna lie...this is a pretty impressive and tasty side dish.

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