I’m not much of a picnic-er, and as fun and romantic as it is made to look in magazine spreads and movies, I really only like to enjoy my food in comfort, away from dirt and bugs. I think that maybe if my picnic experiences did in fact resemble those found in sexy magazines I would do it more often, but alas that has not really ever been the case. So yes, I am a fair weather eater, but if I was a person fond grassy knoll or park picnic table dining I would most certainly pack this potato salad. So much flavor and no mayo so there’s nothing to spoil.
So while our summer here has only just gotten underway this is another summery dish for you (did you see the succotash from last week?). I could see how this may not be much help to you now that most summers are fading away. To be honest my biological clock is telling me that it’s autumn and to prepare to hibernate for the winter (maybe that’s why I love autumn so much), but since the seasonal calendar here is a bit different I am learning to adapt; after all, isn’t that what all successful animals must do? Regardless of the weather in your neck of the woods, there’s never a bad excuse to make potato salad.
Picnic potato salad
– 2 pounds small white boiling potatoes (my favorite are Yukon Gold potatoes)
– 3 tablespoons Vermouth (can substitute with dry white wine)
– 1/4 cup chicken stock
For the vinaigrette:
I know my measurement for vinaigrettes is off, but I prefer more acid and less oil. Typically it’s 3:1 oil-to-acid, so feel free to adjust to that if you prefer.
– 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
– 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
– 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
– 6 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
– 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
– 2 tablespoons scallions, finely minced
– 1/2 cup microgreens (optional)
Slice the potatoes into coins about 1/4 inch thick. Drop into a pot of water and turn the heat to med-high. When the water reaches a boil add a few pinches of salt and continue cooking until tender, 15-20 minutes total. Test with a fork and steal a bite to see when it’s reached the texture you like best. Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. While they’re still hot and steaming add the vermouth and chicken stock and toss gently; the warm potatoes will absorb the liquid.
While the potatoes are cooking you can assemble the vinaigrette. Whisk together the mustards, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. After it becomes thick and forms an emulsion add the parsley and green onion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes and toss well. I typically toss in half of the vinaigrette at first, and then wait until the potatoes are slightly cooler to add the rest. Take a bite and check the seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if needed. If serving with microgreens, lightly toss just before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, but this is also a dish that gets even better the next day. (Perfect accompaniment to salade niçoise, which I did below for a quick weeknight dinner.)
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