The New Potato Salad

by Darina on March 16, 2014

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This weekend poured rained. Last year was one of the driest on record for us here in Vancouver, so I’d almost forgotten what it was like to have my windshield wipers cranked up to the maximum while driving down the highway. Today was a perfect day to be inside and I spent a good number of hours cooking. I made a batch of spinach pesto and some chicken. I made pasta sauce and cinnamon buns and this here salad–half of which accidentally ended up on the kitchen floor.

I used to think that salads were the most boring thing on earth–right up there with doing my taxes. I admit it’s because I have historically lacked imagination in this particular culinary realm. Give me a box of spaghetti and I find a way to doctor it with something fantastic. Give me a plate of lettuce and I’m stumped. I’ve always been a roasted vegetable kind of girl, but in the last year or so, I have been making a concentrated effort to find other ways to get more veggies into my diet without feeling like I am eating grass.

Now mind you, potato salad is kind of an un-salad, seeing as potatoes are more often seen as a starch rather than a vegetable–which is why it’s one of my favourites. I’m not talking about the classic mayonnaise-laden glop you can buy in a plastic bucket at Safeway, however. The potato salads that I eat might almost be called chic, for example, this warm potato and asparagus salad with herbs and garlic caper dressing that I concocted last summer and plan on making as soon as I can find some asparagus without stalks as thick as tree trunks. Oh spring, where art thou?
Menu Potato SaladI’ll be sharing some more of my potato salad recipes over the next while–as well as salad recipes in general. Let’s start with this one. It’s a red potato salad with peas, onion, and red pepper. There is also some chopped egg white and a few capers for complementary textures and flavour. Finally, the dressing is basically full fat yogurt cut with a bit of mayo for a lighter taste, and also to counter some of the acidity of the yogurt.
Red Potato Salad with Peas, Onion, and Red Pepper

1 1/2 pounds/900g baby red potatoes, chopped into quarters
1/2 cup/75g frozen peas, thawed
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 large red pepper, diced
2 boiled egg whites, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1/3 cup/80ml full-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1) Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, lower heat to medium and cook for about twenty minutes, or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain in a colander and set aside to let cool.
2) Combine potatoes in a large bowl with peas, onions, egg whites, capers, shallot, and red pepper. Mix in mustard, yogurt, parsley. Season to taste; add more salt if needed.


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