It seems every year around this time, I start dreaming about salade nicoise. This year, that happened to coincide with conveniently remembering that potatoes are delicious. Hence today’s offering: potato salad nicoise.
Going back and reading my last post on salade nicoise and remembering our trip back to Seattle last year, I can’t help but be nostalgic. In so many ways, this summer has been different. No leisurely vacations, no food-filled adventures. A lot of travel, but none of it for good reasons. I’m home again (“Did she just call Georgia home?”) and willing the weeks ’til September to pass quickly and uneventfully. In the meantime, I’m filling the days with lawn mowing and herb chopping, running round the park and restoring an old table, errands and to-do lists. Trying to be intentional about pursuing coffee and dinners with friends, fighting the urge to hibernate. Reading (The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, is marvelous so far), and writing a little. Trying to slow down and take it all in.
Part of that slowing down is seasonal. Last week marked the beginning of a month of day shifts for me, a rarity. I love my usual night owl hours, and mornings are generally detestable, but the change feels refreshing this year. For a month, I get up in the early gray light and walk through the misty park to my office. It’s peaceful being out among the bleary-eyed dog walkers and ultimate frisbee leaguers calling out to one another. In the evenings there’s time for a long lope around the park to appease muscles twitching to move all day. And then: dinner. Making myself a real meal, and then eating it at the table, is a treat.
And this potato salad? A treat as well. I had some pink pickled onions that needed using, some capers, and some hard-boiled eggs. (The pickled onion recipe is from Shared Appetite, and comes highly recommended.) Potatoes in the fridge, too, so potato salad it was. I love the barely-there creamy dressing, the tang of the brine and vinegar, the unexpected purple and black and green. This salad is about small pleasures and simple delights.
- 1 1/2 lbs. red or Yukon gold potatoes, washed and cut into 1" cubes
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped roughly
- 1/3 c. chopped red onion or pickled onions
- 1/4 c. (.5 oz.) chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp. capers, chopped
- 1/2 c. chopped olives
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- juice (and zest, if you want) of 1 small lemon
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Place potatoes in a saucepan with a lid and fill with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat slightly and boil gently for 8-10 minutes, until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. Taste to adjust acid or seasoning.
- Pour cooled potatoes into a bowl and add eggs, onions, parsley, capers, olives, and a little salt and pepper. Pour on half of the dressing and mix lightly with a wooden spoon to coat salad with dressing. Add a little more dressing if necessary.
- Eat immediately or chill at least 4 hours if you plan to serve later. The potatoes will absorb some of the dressing in the fridge, so put on a little more before serving.