Monday, May 14, 2018

A Spring Potato Salad with Peas ... that’s just a little bit different…

I suppose that having kept a blog for over eight years…and having posted over 600 recipes…it is inevitable that I will someday inadvertently and unknowingly post a recipe twice.   It almost happened today.

This particular potato salad has been in my repertoire for many years.  I recently brought the class (“spring brunch”) in which the recipe originally appeared out of retirement.  While preparing to teach it again, I remade all of the recipes at home so they would be fresh in my mind.  I was struck by how much I liked the potato salad.  Then, it turned out to be a big hit with the class...much more so than I remembered.  It has been two weeks since I taught the class and during that time I have already made this salad again at least twice.  I decided this was an indication that I should share the recipe here.

Then, this morning, as I sat down to type, I had this niggling feeling that I might have posted it before.  Just in case, I decided to take a minute to check.  Sure enough…  I had.   Oops.

Rather than give up on the idea of a post entirely, I thought I would post the variation of the salad that we have been eating.  The salad as originally posted—and as I teach it—uses sugar snap peas.  The one we have been eating at home during the past couple of weeks uses shelling peas.  It is a variation worth knowing about.  So, here it is.  Whether you make this one—or the original with sugar snap peas…or maybe your own variation with asparagus …or haricot verts—it is delicious.  Enjoy!

Spring Potato Salad with Peas & Arugula

1 1/2 lbs. small waxy potatoes (Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, Fingerling or Creamer-type)
2 T. red wine vinegar, divided
1 small to medium shallot, finely diced
1 t. Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups green peas
3 oz. Arugula, rinsed, dried & stemmed as necessary
2 T. (or more) minced fresh chives
1 or 2 chive blossoms, if available

Scrub the potatoes.  Steam over simmering water until tender to the tip of a knife—20 minutes or so, depending on their age and size.  (If you prefer, you may instead cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain well.)  As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle halve or quarter them (depending on their size).  If using fingerling, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds.  Place the potatoes in a bowl and pour 1 T. of vinegar over them along with salt & pepper to taste.  Toss gently to combine.  Set aside for 10 minutes or so to allow the warm potatoes to absorb the vinegar.  Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil over the potatoes and fold in carefully.

While the potatoes are cooking, combine 1 T. of vinegar and the shallot in a small bowl; let sit for a few minutes to allow the vinegar to soften the shallots.  Whisk in the mustard.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of oil, adding it in a thin stream.  Taste and correct the seasoning and the vinegar balance—the vinaigrette should be fairly sharp. 

Blanch the peas in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender.  Drain and refresh under cold running water.  Pat dry and set aside. (If cooked ahead, refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)

To serve the salad, place the arugula in a medium-sized bowl.  Season with salt & pepper and drizzle with a small amount of the vinaigrette.  Toss to coat.  Mound the dressed greens onto a serving platter.  Add the peas and herbs to the potatoes and toss.  Add a bit of dressing if necessary.  Taste and correct the seasoning.   Mound the potatoes and peas on top of the greens and scatter more herbs over all if you like (chive blossoms would be especially nice). 

Serves 4 to 6 as a side salad.  Serves 8 (or more) as part of a salad buffet.

Printable Version

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