This is both a delicious potato salad and an interesting way to use the findings of modern food science by giving an otherwise unremarkable-looking potato flesh a sensational red-pink color. It looks almost impossible (and makes you wonder where the color came from) but is really quite simple. When the potatoes are dipped in the liquid in which pickled beets are packed, the outer layers of the potato will absorb the color. The effect can be heightened by making small holes in the potatoes before dipping so they are also colored from within.
Use potatoes with a thin skin, preferably new potatoes. The potatoes are served best within a few hours after they are made.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 3 pounds new potatoes, cleaned
- 1/2 cup liquid from pickled red beets
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 6 to 8 radishes, cut into thin slices
- 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Parmesan cheese, prosciutto or anchovies (optional)
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted water over high heat for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the potatoes' size, just until they are fork-tender. When the potatoes are cooked, use a thickish needle to prick them about a dozen times. (This should be done carefully while the potatoes are still hot.) Place them in a large, stain-resistant bowl.
Add the beet liquid to the bowl and toss the potatoes for about 1 minute. Remove the potatoes and rinse under cool running water to remove most of the beet juice on the surface of the potatoes.
Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters. Transfer to a salad bowl and add the oil, capers, parsley and radishes. Toss gently and season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Add Parmesan cheese, prosciutto or anchovies, if desired.
From Gastronomer columnist Andreas Viestad.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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