Picnic Potato Salad

Picnic Potato Salad

By and large I am not a huge fan of potato salad.  I have a fairly significant aversion to mayonnaise, though I will use it for tuna or chicken salad.  I used to not like hard-boiled eggs, so this may have something to do with it as well.  In recent years, I’ve started to experiment more with this type of salad, using a minimal amount of mayonnaise and skipping the eggs all together.  I went one step further with this salad and just ditched the mayonnaise, opting instead for a dressing of red wine vinegar, oil and mustard.  Even better, I threw in some nicoise salad touches: Kalamata olives, blanched snap peas, and a whole hard boiled egg in each serving.

On a side note, I recently discovered a new red wine vinegar (because generic red wine vinegar just isn’t that thrilling.)  Meet the chianti red wine vinegar of my dreams:

chianti red wine vinegar

Ok – maybe it’s not that exciting and maybe it does taste mostly like red wine vinegar, but still.

This is a great time of year for little potatoes straight out of the garden or from the farm or farmer’s market.  The snap peas could certainly be replaced with beans.  The dressing made plenty of extra, so save it for a green salad later in the week or to go with roasted chicken and focaccia.

potato salad

Picnic Potato Salad
Serves 4

10 – 12 small (fingerling size) potatoes
10 – 12 snap peas
10 – 12 Kalamata olives
4 hardboiled eggs
Chianti red wine dressing (below)

Chianti Red Wine Dressing
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chianti red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
pinch salt
a few grinds fresh pepper

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a jar.  Cover with a tight lid, shake vigorously and set aside.

For the salad: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add the snap peas and boil for one minute.  Put the snap peas in a strainer and rinse with cool water.  Set aside. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and boil until tender.  Drain, cool and cut into quarters.  Combine the potatoes, blanched snap peas and Kalamata olives.  Dress with Chianti Red Wine Dressing – all ingredients should be well coated.  Chill for at least an hour for flavors to develop.  Add the hardboiled eggs on each plate when the dish is served.

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