Thursday, April 9, 2009

French Potato Salad

This is adapted from "Cook's Illustrated" (July/Aug. 2002), although I had been making something very similar to this, SAUCISSON LYONNAISE from Trade Secrets for a Three-Star Chef (Doubleday, 1994; a wonderful little cookbook) for years already. The main difference is that the latter recipe has bits of kielbasa mixed in. I've included those instructions at the end.

2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons salt
1-3 cloves garlic
1+1/2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, peeled & finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
optional add-ins: capers, minced chives, chopped cornichons
salt & pepper

Place potatoes, 6 cups of cold water and salt in a large pot; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium. If you want to "mellow" the garlic, dunk it in the simmering water for about 45 seconds, then mince. Simmer potatoes until tender but still firm, abut 5 minutes. With a large slotted spoon, spread out potatoes in a rimmed baking dish. Reserve cooking water.

Whisk together mustard, vinegar and garlic. Mix in oil and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Sprinkle potatoes with freshly ground pepper, then cover with dressing. If there doesn't seem like enough liquid for all the potatoes, add in more cooking water and another splash of vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Toss shallots, parsley and any other add-ins with the potatoes. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator.

Take one pound of kielbasa and cut into a few large chunks. Boil them for 10-15 minutes; skins will split. When cool enough to handle, take off the skins completely and cut into "bite-sized rounds." Add into salad with parsley & shallots.


  1. This looks great! I love potato salad of any kind, but my husband hates mayo-based potato salads...I'm always on the lookout for a non-mayo salad!