This potato salad, typical of Provence, is like the potato portion of a Nicoise salad. You can make it with any smallish new potato, though tiny ones or fingerlings are ideal.
A Dijon vinaigrette is tossed with the cut potatoes when they are still warm, to help the dressing get absorbed. Capers, shallots, garlic, and parsley are tossed in as well.
The salad is best if allowed to sit for several hours, as is just as good two days out as one. So it's perfect for a make ahead get together.
The secret ingredient of the dressing is the anchovy paste. If you are familiar with the bliss that anchovies can bring to a salad dressing, you'll know why it's included.
If you are unfamiliar with using anchovies or anchovy paste in salad dressings, I strongly urge you to try it! Believe me, it won't make your dressing taste like fish. It will just make your mouth smile when you taste it.
Provencal Potato Salad
You can save time by prepping the ingredients and making the vinaigrette while the potatoes are cooking.
The vinaigrette should be mixed with the potatoes while they are still warm, so the potatoes better absorb the dressing.
- 2 pounds small waxy potatoes or fingerling potatoes, cut in half or quartered
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons capers
- 1/4 cup green olives, sliced
- Dressing ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (1 to 2 anchovies, mashed)
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Boil the potatoes:
Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they are just tender when speared with a fork or sharp knife, 7 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Do not overcook. They should be a little firm.
Make the vinaigrette:
While the potatoes are cooking, prep the other ingredients and make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, herbes de provence, anchovy paste, shallot, and Dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil whisking the whole time to create an emulsion.
Toss warm cooked potatoes with vinaigrette:
When the potatoes are ready, strain them from the pot. In a large bowl toss the still warm potatoes with the vinaigrette, garlic, parsley, capers and green olives.
Chill for a couple of hours. Let come to room temperature to serve.