Friday, September 30, 2011

Fingerling Potato Salad

Potato salad is like a blank slate. There are so many flavors that work well with potatoes, there are literally hundreds of variations on this classic dish.

Let's start with the potatoes: Fingerlings retain their shape, while Russets are inclined to break apart resulting in a creamier texture. However, you can mash the Fingerlings a little and end up with exactly the amount of potato chunky-ness you prefer. Redskins are more like Fingerlings in that they retain their shape, but they mash up well too.

I like to leave the potatoes in their jackets because it provides a little more nutrition and fiber. I also like the look of it. But if you want to peel your potatoes, I suggest doing so after you cook them. You'll find it easier to remove their papery skins. Wait until they're cool enough to handle, though.

As for additions, a classic version of potato salad includes chopped celery, chopped onion, mashed hard-boiled eggs, sweet pickle relish, and of course, mayonnaise. However, you can add peppers, both sweet and/or hot, fresh English peas (in season), fresh corn kernels, grated carrots, grated zucchini, or chopped kale. And you don't have to use a mayo-based dressing. Vinaigrettes are lovely on potato salad.

Salt, pepper, and paprika are classic seasonings. But you can get adventurous and season your potato salad with cumin or curry powder. I adore smoked paprika, both sweet and hot. Lemon juice and/or grated lemon peel will add a little zing. For even more zing, try Dijon mustard, horseradish, or wasabi.

I made my potato salad today with the Fingerlings in our box, as well as sweet onion, red onion, grated carrots, chopped celery, pickle relish, and mayo. Here's my recipe, but don't hesitate to try your own variations. Potato salad is such a popular dish at my house, I'm sure I'll be postiong more variations in the future.

1 lb. Fingerling potatoes
1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped
1-2 T finely chopped red onion
1-2 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1-2 T sweet pickle relish, or dill relish, if you prefer
4 T mayonnaise, or more to taste
salt, pepper and paprika to taste

1. Scrub the potatoes. Put in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until potatoes are just tender. The cooking time will vary with the size of the potatoes.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, place the chopped onions, celery, grated carrots and relish in a large bowl.

3. When the potatoes are done, drain them and allow them to cool. When they're cool enough to handle, remove the skins, if desired.

4. Cut the cooked and cooled potatoes into small chunks. For a slightly creamier texture, use a potato masher to mash the potatoes lightly.

5. Stir in the mayo. Add more, if desired. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

Potato salad tastes even better after a few hours of refrigeration, so it's a great make-ahead dish.

Today's bounty included:

From Underwood Family Farms: Artichokes, Cherokee tomatoes, green bell peppers, jalapenos, yellow carrots, yellow wax beans, bi-color corn, Romaine lettuce, and yellow summer squash.

From Sage Mountain Farm: Hybrid tomatoes, eggplant, sweet candy onions, zucchini, Fingerling potatoes, and melons.

From Silver Lake Farms: cilantro, arugula, and mustard microgreens, lemons, and sunflower seedlings.



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