First day of Summer and my thoughts turn to potato salad. July 4th is coming up and there are a couple other prompts, but Summer and potato salad do seem to go together. There are as many versions of potato salad as there are families, friends and church suppers. I have met very few I didn’t like but I do have favorites.
Potatoes at the heart of it are a deep personal love for me. When I was kid, my next door neighbor planted a hill of potatoes every year specifically for me to dig. The joy she experienced watching me be that happy motivated her year after year. I certainly wasn’t going to protest. She was a wonderful woman.
The thing with those freshly dug potatoes is, they are sweet. Their skins aren’t even set yet and the skin sort of shreds off a little when you are washing them. They smell like dirt – they are heavenly. My mom served them with peas in the Spring and later in potato salad.
We will get to my mom’s potato salad another day but these early fingerling potatoes have captured my attention and they really need to be the star of the show. Farmers markets and markets in general have a lot of beautiful new potatoes now.
This is going to be a very basic vinaigrette based potato salad with McEvoy Ranch Pinot Noir Vinegar and the 2018 Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It will let the ingredients shine and keep the mayonnaise haters at bay.
Fingerling Potato Salad with Roasted Peppers, Capers, Scallions, and McEvoy Ranch Pinot Noir Vinaigrette
Here is a basic recipe for vinaigrette. Note the changes I made for the specific use in this potato salad.
Makes ½ cup *Double for this recipe
The classic proportion for a vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar but you should feel free to adjust to your taste. Fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, tarragon and basil can be a lovely addition.
- 2 tablespoons McEvoy Ranch Champagne Vinegar (*I used McEvoy Ranch Pinot Noir)
- Vinegar for the potato salad
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 tablespoons McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Place vinegar, shallots, mustard and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
- Add olive oil slowly, whisking to combine.
- Grind in black pepper.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
Ingredients for Potato Salad
- 2 pounds Fingerling potatoes – sliced into rounds and cooked just until tender
- 2 red or orange bell peppers – roasted, peeled and cut into ½ inch squares
- 6 scallions – cleaned and sliced into rounds
- 5 tablespoons capers – rinsed
Rinse the potatoes and scrub off any dirt clinging to skin.
Slice potatoes into thick rounds.
Be sure to salt the water like you do for pasta or the potato salad will be flat.
Drain the potatoes and immediately add ½ the vinaigrette recipe above. It is important to dress the potatoes while they are warm so they soak up the flavors in the vinaigrette.
Here are some photos of roasting, cleaning and cutting the peppers.
Scallions, cleaned and ready for slicing
Scallions, cut into rounds
After tossing the potatoes with the vinaigrette, add the other prepared ingredients and toss again. Taste and add more vinaigrette until everything is well coated. The potatoes will absorb some of the vinaigrette and you don’t want things to be dry. Taste again and adjust the salt if necessary.
This potato salad makes a great side dish with any grilled meat and is light enough to work well with fish or chicken. The flavors are bright and clean and won’t overpower. Herbs can certainly be added – tarragon is a favorite of mine and works well with chicken or fish.
Ahh – summer potatoes. Enjoy!