Monday, July 14, 2014

French Potato Salad

I have a confession, and after I share this I hope we can still be friends. The last time I mentioned this in a group, I got the "bless her heart" stare, so here it goes. I am not a fan of Southern potato salad. I love almost everything about the South, but the mayonnaise and egg ridden potato salad is not on that list. I've been politely tasting small dollops at picnics for years, and have yet to find one that I like. I find that most taste bland. However, I wholeheartedly stand behind chicken salad, bourbon, peaches, boiled peanuts, and my cast iron skillet. 
When my mom made this potato salad over July 4th weekend, I was smitten. It tastes like potatoes, though the combination of herbs, olive oil, champagne vinegar, and a little mustard really make the potatoes shine. I tried this out on Josh's family last night, and it was a hit at the table, so much so that I'm going to adopt this recipe as my new house potato salad. In Ina's cookbook on the following page, you can doll this salad up with green beans, tuna, capers, tomatoes and onions to make the Provencal Potato Salad, but trust me when I say it is amazing just like this. 
I also made Ina's peach and raspberry crumble with South Carolina peaches. With all this Ina talk this morning, I've included a picture of my Barefoot Contessa cookbook collection on my dining room shelves, and yes I modeled my dining room table and settings after her barn. Ina is fabulous and she is my domestic role model! If you glimpse that set of Moscow Mule mugs hiding in my basket, just know that they will be put to good use this October when I can once again enjoy an evening cocktail. I already have a ginger mint julep with fresh pineapple on my radar! 

French Potato Salad
from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 pound small white boiling potatoes
1 pound small red boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons good dry white wine
2 tablespoons chicken stock
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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