Potato, Radicchio and Green Bean Salad with Fresh Peas and Sherry Vinaigrette
Potato salads are a regular feature in my summer kitchen. They are easy to make, satisfying and flavourful and I like them combined with other summer vegetables and dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. I noticed that I have been making more and more potato salads with vinaigrettes and less with mayo based dressing.
This salad was made with waxy yellow skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that keep their shape when they cook. I steamed them over boiling water in their skin. I prefer that method over boiling them in water. This way they don’t become water-logged and the skin doesn’t tend to split. Of course don’t make this with brown skinned potatoes as their starchy-mealy content is not suitable for salads. Use yellow or red skinned only.
This salad combines the potatoes with shredded radicchio, freshly steamed green beans, shelled raw peas right out of the pod, a few slices of red onion and, if you’d like, a topping of chopped hard boiled egg. The vinaigrette is simple, made with dijon mustard, sherry vinegar and good olive oil. What could be simpler?
There are couple of things to keep in mind though: cook the potatoes only until done, no more, no less. A sharp knife inserted in should go through the potatoes like a knife goes through butter. This way the potatoes should slice into nice whole slices that do not fall apart into a mess. After steaming, let the potatoes cool a little so they are comfortable to handle and then peel the skin off. It should come off thinly and smoothly like silk stockings off your legs (don’t get excited, I don’t wear those either, it’s just an expression). It is also important to drizzle the vinaigrette over the potatoes while they are still warm so the dressing permeates them and not just cling to the outside. That’s about it for special instructions. Now the recipe is yours, make it your own.
8 yellow skinned potatoes, fresh and firm
2 cups shredded radicchio
2 cups green beans, halved
1/4 small red onion, sliced
12 pea pods, peas shelled
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs
Place potatoes in the steamer basket over water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and continue to boil until the potatoes are cooked through and a knife inserted through the centre goes through like a knife through butter.
Remove the potatoes from the pot and place in a dish where they can cool. When they are cool enough to handle peel the skin off and discard. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and then cut each slice into quarters. Place in a bowl. Pour half the vinaigrette over the potato slice and toss gently.
Add more water to the same steamer pot and place the halved beans in the steamer basket. Bring to a boil and cook until just done and bright green. You can rinse the beans under cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green colour. Once cooled, add to the potatoes.
Add the shredded radicchio, shelled peas and onion and toss gently to combine without breaking the potatoes pieces.
Add more vinaigrette as necessary and season with additional salt.
Add chopped parsley and egg and mix gently.
Serve at room temperature.
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
6 tablespoon olive oil
Place shallot mustard, salt and vinegar in a small bowl or jar and stirr well with a fork or a whisk.
Add olive oil a little at a time whisking constantly until dressing thickens, or if you use a jar screw the lid back on and shake vigorously until dressing ingredients combine.
Use as directed.