All-American potato salad -- loaded with mayonnaise, sour cream and diced, hard-cooked egg -- used be my standard. I took it to potlucks, served it on the Fourth of July and would make a batch just to have it on hand.
After my husband dropped a few hints about liking German-style potato salads, I got the message and started experimenting. What I learned is that you don't need many ingredients: just good potatoes, fresh herbs, a little seasoning, a flavorful vinegar and olive oil.
This rendition includes sauteed onions, a trick I learned from an Austrian chef at cooking school that complements the natural sugars in the potatoes.
New-crop potatoes are starting to show up in markets. They are not technically "new" potatoes, but they're fresh and perfect for this salad. If you can’t find any, choose a thin-skinned red potato.
Make Ahead: The salad tastes best warm, but it can be refrigerated for a day or two. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: Makes about 6 1/2 cups
- 2 pounds new, new-crop or thin-skinned potatoes
- 5 tablespoons mild olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes in a large pot; add enough cool water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for 15 minutes (small potatoes) to 30 or 45 minutes (larger ones). Test for doneness by inserting a thin skewer, which should meet with little resistance.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the diced onion and a light sprinkle of salt; stir to coat. Reduce the heat to medium, further adjusting as needed to keep the onion from browning. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion is tender.
Whisk together the parsley, vinegar and mustard in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
When the onions are done, stir them into the parsley dressing.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a cutting board. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Immediately add them to the onion-parsley dressing mixture, tossing to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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