Last weekend I returned home from a 5 day business trip, blissfully happy to be home, and ready to spend the weekend puttering in the kitchen and creating -- pretty much my favorite pastime, so long as the tunes are good and I've gotten the exercise portion of the day squared away (the better for my mood). Of course there was one thing that needed doing first before anything else though, and that was of course to re-stock the fridge (the husband keeps it especially lean in my absence, just ask the girls, oy-vey).
With a few NSF initiatives & ideas lingering on my radar, I decided to hit the local Farmer's Market, with one goal in mind: to see just what $15 would get me. I've talked a fair bit on the blog about ways to simplify our food choices, and how keeping our variety to a minimum on shopping trips can help keep the bounty high while keeping the hit to the pocketbook low (or lower). And it's true it can be done...turns out $15 spent wisely can set the stage for a pretty healthy & satisfying array of recipes - starting with this fresh potato salad. This is not to say it is super easy, but with a little effort, planning and restraint, a little actually can go a lot farther than we might think.
So stay tuned for the next few posts, as they will feature recipes inspired by a weekend trip to the market: here we utilize freshly harvested potatoes, green onions, fresh tarragon & bell pepper from the local market and add a simple vinaigrette to fancy it all up. A fantastic celebration of summer, when fresh herbs make anything they touch sing with their own unique offering of taste & smell. Dressed simply, this salad is just the ticket to sidle up beside any green salad and protein dish.
Tarragon New Potato Salad
- (14-16) new red-skinned potatoes (about 1-1.5#)
- (3) green onions, chopped
- (1) small yellow bell pepper, minced
- (2-3) tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon leaves
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper & salt if desired
Shallot Vinaigrette ~ adapted from Bon Appetit
- (1) shallot, peeled & minced
- (2) tbsp fresh lemon juice
- (1) tbsp apple cider vinegar (or any light vinegar, red wine will do as well)
- (1/2) tsp salt, or to taste
- (1/3) cup olive oil
First, prepare the vinaigrette by combining the minced shallot, lemon juice, vinegar & salt in a jar. Let sit for 20 minutes while you put up the potatoes to cook. After 20 minutes, add the olive oil and shake to combine. Set aside until ready to use. This dressing can be made ahead and gets better the longer it sits, I was pleased to find this version on my current edition of Bon Appetit as I've been enjoying a similar dressing with added cumin and a little sweetener. Perfection.
To prepare the vegetables, simply wash and cut the potatoes into halves, or for the bigger ones, quarters (this can be to you preference). Combine the potatoes in a medium pot with enough water to just cover, and bring to a boil on high heat with the lid partially on. Once boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a steady rolling boil, and cook with the lid partially on until the potatoes are just soft -- about 8-10 minutes depending on how you cut them. Once ready, drain in a colander and let site for 4-5 minutes to cool. Wash & chop the pepper, green onions & tarragon and set aside.
To prepare the salad for serving, pour the dressing into the bottom of the mixing bowl (you can use a portion or all of it here). Add the warm potatoes and gently stir to combine. Toss in the chopped veggies and stir again gently. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with lots of fresh black pepper & optional salt if desired.
Leftovers of this dish make a great addition to weeknight green salads, and if you are at all a lover of fried potatoes, I could see folks like my dad tossing these day-olds into a frying pan with a little added spice (cumin or coriander seeds would be amazing) and enjoying them hot perhaps with a little spicy chutney on the side.
Any way you look at it, potatoes are a comfort food and I love this time of year when they are so tender & full of life from the soil. Love.