Friday, 23 March 2012
If there is one thing I am guilty of, it's frequently buying more potatoes than we can conceivably use. The potato is one of my favourite vegetables and I just always love to have lots of them around. I have even been known to have nothing but a plate of potatoes for my tea, simply boiled and served with lots of butter, salt and pepper . . . just because I love them so . . .
But . . . I digress.
I love them simply boiled, baked, mashed, fried and I especially love them made into tasty salads. My mother's version of potato salad is one of my favourites. She always diced cold boiled potatoes into small cubes, and then added some grated onion, cubed cucumber, chopped celery, chopped boiled egg and then Kraft Miracle Whip, along with some seasonings. then of course there was that extra special touch of love she put into it. Somehow mine never manages to taste as good as the memory of hers does . . . funny how that goes.
I'm afraid that her potato salad kind of spoiled me for every really enjoying anyone else's . . . and I have never bought a store made potato salad that made me happy . . . stogged full of mayo and lacking in flavour. ugh . . .
I do also really enjoy a potato salad when it's made with a lovely herby vinaigrette dressing. This is one I make from time to time and we always enjoy it . . . tangy and warm and full of lovely bits of salty ham. (Over here I have learned that ham is called gammon, until it is cooked, then it is ham.)
This made an especially delicously light early Spring supper which we ate along with some crusty rolls, after an especially full day of gardening . . . looking out over the patio at our efforts. Life is good.
*Warm Potato Salad with Ham*
I love potato salads and often make them in various ways. This is one of my favourite versions. I just love the tang of the gerkins and capers along with the saltiness of the ham.
1 1/2 pounds of new potatoes, peeled
4 ounces cooked ham, chopped or thinly sliced (1/4 pound)
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 TBS tiny capers, rinsed and drained well
8 french gerkins, chopped
3 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
For the Dressing:
1 TBS red wine vinegar
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
4 TBS olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until just fork tender and then drain and place into a bowl. Cut any large ones into smaller pieces. Add the ham, shallots, capers, gherkins and parsley. Gently toss together.
Whisk the vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Pour over the potatoes and toss to blend together all the flavours. Allow to set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, in order to allow the potatoes to absorb the dressing. Serve warm.