Mediterranean Potato Salad

How is it that it’s almost Memorial Day already? ‘Splain it to me Lucy! When I was a kid, a week seemed like an eternity. Now, well into middle-agedom, I blink and it’s a new month. One good yawn and we’ve moved from pea shoots to picnic salads.

Speaking of which, picnic salads that is, everyone needs a good potato salad in their picnic repertoire, right? This one fits the bill. It’s sort of a potato salad a la Nicoise. No mayo, the dressing is a mustard vinaigrette; new potatoes are tossed with green beans, roasted red bell peppers, red onion, minced Kalamata olives, parsley and arugula.

Best thing is that you can make it days ahead. The vinaigrette acts as a marinade, the longer the salad sits, the more infused with flavor it becomes.

  • Prep: 20 minutes
  • Cook: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

This recipe makes a large batch of potato salad, perfect for a picnic or potluck. You can easily cut the ingredients in half if you want a more moderate amount of potato salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds small new potatoes or fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • Salted water (1 1/2 teaspoons salt for every quart of water) for cooking the potatoes
  • 1 pound of fresh, tender green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups prepped green beans)
  • 3 large roasted red bell peppers*, core removed, flesh cut into 2 x 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups, or a 16 ounce jar, drained)
  • 3/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup minced, pitted Kalamata and green olives (mini-chopper works well for this)
  • A large handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • A large handful of fresh baby arugula leaves

 Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or herbes de provence)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

* To roast bell peppers, rub with a little olive oil, place on an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan under a broiler, broil until all sides are completely blackened, turning as needed. Place the blackened bell peppers in a bowl and cover with a plate until they cool. Then peel off the blackened bits. For more details on various methods to roast bell peppers see: Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers.

Method

1 Place whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, an inch above the level of the potatoes. Add salt (1 1/2 teaspoons for every quart of water used). Bring to a simmer on high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (or more, depending on the size of the potatoes), until pierced easily with the tines of a fork or a sharp knife. Check frequently for doneness. Once done, drain and place potatoes on a sheet pan to cool. Let cool to room temperature or slightly warm. (You can speed up cooling by placing in the refrigerator if you have space.)

2 While the potatoes are cooking, bring another pot of salted water to a rolling boil (2 quarts of water, 1 Tbsp salt). Add the green beans. Blanch for 4 to 5 minutes, more or less depending on the age and toughness of the beans. Once cooked until tender, drain and place in a bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking.

3 While the potatoes and green beans are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together in a bowl the mustard, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and olive oil.

4 Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them into 3/4-inch to 1-inch bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.

5 To the bowl add the green beans, strips of roasted peppers, red onion, and olives. Toss with the vinaigrette. Let marinate until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, toss with the parsley and arugula.

Can easily make ahead. Lasts several days in the fridge.

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