After a one month hiatus, I’m back with this humble potato dish and my apologies for being gone so long. May was a crazy, crazy month, both on a personal and professional front. I had originally planned to take a month away from the blog to travel to France and then to Serbia, but for a variety of reasons, it was not to be. I ended up staying in town and am soldiering on until late August, when I hope to go to Europe as previously intended.
Funny thing, though, how life throws you these curve balls, disappointments, but when everything comes to pass, you realize that it was better that way. One small example is that if I were in Serbia right now as I was supposed to be, I would likely be bored and housebound by the torrential rains and worrying about the flooding waters of the Danube River. Instead, I am enjoying the Vancouver sunshine and meeting good friends to eat good food. I did take a few days off work and did some shooting, so I hope to make up for my absence with a some extra recipes in the next couple of week. I’ve been on a bit of a pasta bender lately, and have been experimenting with a ton of vegetables.
Do you like the looks of this potato and asparagus salad? It was inspired in part by the typical Serbian style potato salad, which eschews mayonnaise as a dressing, favouring a top quality olive oil instead. Sometimes I eat it on its own, for lunch, but it also makes a nice complement to a salmon or chicken dish. Although it’s not pictured here, I’ve discovered adding a dollop of Crème fraîche is a perfect garnish and gives it a creaminess that works really well. Use fresh herbs for this one, and just a bit of finely sliced onion for extra flavour. I like to mix it up from my herb garden. You can substitute any of those listed here with your own preferences.
Warm Potato and Asparagus and Herb Salad with Garlic Caper Dressing
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side
700 g / 1 1/4 lb baby (creamer) potatoes
1 bunch (thin) asparagus
finely sliced white onion
fresh Italian parsley
fresh Greek oregano
1/4 cup crème fraîche
for the dressing:
3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons capers
large pinch salt
freshly ground black pepper
1) Cut the baby potatoes in half and drop into a pot of salted boiling water. Lower heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are still firm but start to come part when pricked with a fork–about 10 minutes. Scoop out of the water with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.
2) Cut the bottom third of the asparagus off and discard. Cut the rest into bit-sized pieces and drop into the water. Cook for 3 minutes, until just tender, and drain in colander. Immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to preserve colour and texture.
3) Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a glass jar with a lid and shake vigorously. Mix the potatoes, asparagus, herbs, and sliced onion together in a large bowl with the dressing.
4) Pour potato salad on a serving platter; season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra olive oil and crème fraîche to serve.