Chef Kelly Unger
New Red Potatoes
These beauties have been with us for the last two weeks or so. And upon their arrival, I immediately think about potato salad. There are so many great potato salad styles and recipes. We Americans usually make a mayonnaise based salad and add either a yellow or red onion, possibly some pickle relish, perhaps some shredded carrot and sliced celery, and chopped hard boiled eggs. Another fun way to make an American style potato salad is the Hawaiin way - Potato Mac Salad. Yes, that's right, the marriage of potato salad and macaroni salad is very popular in Hawaii. I was gifted the cookbook Aloha Kitchen by Alana Kysar. It's a great book and it's where I saw a recipe for this popular side dish. It's a mayonnaise base with shredded carrots, sweet pickle relish plus a few tablespoons of the sweet pickle relish juice, a Maui yellow onion, and 4 hard boiled eggs coarsely chopped to be added to the half pound elbow macaroni and, in this recipe, 3 russet potatoes. But I think you can certainly try this out with the new red potatoes. Now the French style of potato salad uses a vinaigrette base with white wine or champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard, olive oil, some diced shallot, chopped garlic and fresh herbs. A Spanish version has olives, using the brine from the olives and more olive oil. And German potato salad, well, that's just a different league with bacon, hot vinaigrette made with bacon fat, plus mustard. What's not to love? But what's not to love with any potato salad, really. They're all good! It just depends on your mood. Potatoes just happily go with whatever we feel like throwing at them, whatever we're in the mood for. So these less starchy little red gems we call new red potatoes are ready to pair with what's in season.
Another famous French use for new red potatoes is Nicoise Salad, or in the style of Nice, and using those gorgeous black Nicoise olives (Psst - I think I know someone at the market that can connect you with some olives). I thought we could do this Nicoise with our seasonal ingredients. A Nicoise Salad usually uses tuna but for our version, let's omit the tuna. Let's use asparagus instead of green beans, though green beans will appear at the market this week, so maybe use them both! Let's use strawberries instead of or in addition to tomatoes. Then make a French Potato Salad with extra dressing for the rest of the salad, make boiled eggs, slice or quarter some radishes, use a head of butter lettuce, and add olives if you like. There are a few ways to serve a Nicoise Salad, on a platter with each ingredient grouped together so you can place each ingredient on your plate and eat them in a way that suits you, or as a composed salad. I prefer the presentation of the former, but do what you like. There's so many great recipes for what's in season right now in the two cookbooks for sale this week at the market tent. And there's a recipe for a BLT Potato Salad in the cookbook, Salad Freak. Check it out, these two books do not disappoint.
This week I’m sharing Ina Garten’s French Potato Salad. It's a classic. And our new red potatoes are ready to make you happy in this easy recipe. Enjoy!
Ina Garten’s French Potato Salad