Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Nice Potato Salad
Not exactly a Nicoise salad, but still pretty nice. Har har. Moving right along...
I said I'd bring potato salad to Jej's picnic, and I'd had some little potato finger-food thingies that were 'nicoise inspired' which gave me this idea. Traditionally, Salad Nicoise has potatoes, green beans, olives, eggs, tuna and sometimes tomatoes on it. The hors d'oeuvres were basically just tiny tuna-deviled potatoes with a green bean stabbed through the top and a sprinkle of "egg mimosa" which meant little crumbs of egg yolk to make it look fancy. The green bean was awkward to eat. But I liked the potato part, and as silly as it was, the green bean tasted really good. Still, what I wanted was potato salad, not tuna salad, so I came up with this.
1 lb tiny yellow potatoes
1/2 lb fresh green beans
a handful of parsley, chopped
a green onion, sliced fine
2 cold, hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup olives, coarsely chopped
zest of a lemon
juice of a lemon, about 1/4 cup
2 T fish sauce
1 T sherry vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T minced fresh thyme
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake them up. Set aside.
Boil the potatoes whole until you can stick a fork through them. Drain them, then let them cool completely. Meanwhile blanch the green beans. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil, then dump in the beans. Leave the beans in the water just until they turn translucent and bright green. Drain the beans then either dump them into a pot of ice water or run them under cold water until they are chilled.
When the potatoes are cold, cut them into bite sized bits. Cut the green beans on and angle to increase the area of cut surface (and to make them prettier). Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. The orange things in the picture are nasturtium petals, they're just to make it look fancy.
Ok, this was a pretty good salad, but some things occurred to me later, namely
1. It would have been better if I'd roasted the bitty potatoes instead. I think little toasty parts would definitely add a more complex and interesting flavor.
2. I might put in tiny red tomatoes. Both for color and because tomatoes.
3. Tuna in olive oil. Yes, the fish sauce is fine, but the fish itself is actually more important to the whole nicoise thing than just being a way to add a certain fishy something-something. I think partly it's texture, and partly because fish sauce is fermented, which gives a very different character to things.
4. It would look better if you just decorated the top with egg slices. The egg yolks get all smushed up if you stir them into the salad.