Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mediterranean Potato Salad

This recipe has been a standard in my BBQ/potluck repertoire for years now.  Even though I love mayonnaise (especially homemade olive oil mayonnaise! see eclecticrecipes for a great version), tossing potato salad with a vinaigrette instead is a refreshing change.

I start like many potato salad recipes start: quarter potatoes, drop in cold water, bring to boil, drain, chill.  When it comes time to dress though, I like to use capers, sun-dried tomatoes, dijon mustard, parsley, preserved lemon, vinegar and olive oil. I have also used cornichon, pickled onions, basil, tarragon, etc.  I start by making a simple vinaigrette.  The typical vinaigrette is made by slowly whisking 3 parts of oil  to 1 part of vinegar, until it emulsifies. Then I simply fold in all of my other goodies and viol√†!

It's not like my little twist to potato salad is truly unique, though.  Indeed, there are many a variation on the old spud salad.  According to the ubiquitous wikipedia, general versions of potato salad include:
  • salad made with baby potatoes, cooked in their jackets and left whole (skin on)
  • larger potatoes, cooked in their jackets and then peeled and cut
  • salad with a mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, sour cream or milk dressing
  • salad with vinegar dressing
  • salad with bacon, anchovies, or mustard. 
  • salad with a fresh herb or dill dressing and/or gherkins, capers and other spices.
  • salad with raw onions, cooked onions or pickled onions.
  • salad with tomatoes or green beans. 
  • salad with hard-boiled eggs (a combination of potato salad and egg salad)
  • salad with ham, pickles, corn, hard-boiled egg and tomato (known in France as salade  piemontaise)
  • salad with orange slices, Worcestershire sauce, bacon, and chives.
  • Waldorf salad with potatoes, apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise
I might try going in the direction of that orange, Worcestershire, bacon and chive recipe, or maybe with some anchovies, but I 'll never stray too far from this Mediterranean beauty.  Hope you give it a try sometime.

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