It seems to me that summer long weekends in North America must always include, along with fireworks and mosquitos, big bowls of potato salad.
We Canadians just enjoyed a day off on Tuesday for Canada Day and tomorrow is July 4th so there is much to celebrate this week as both countries enjoy their holidays. While I don’t often make potato salad, it just seemed the right thing to go alongside the ribs we had for dinner on Canada Day.
I have been adapting this particular recipe over the last 20 years. And I felt like it received the highest kudo’s to date on Tuesday when the SO said “I would take this to the Latvians”…huge praise indeed considering the place, in my limited experience, that potatoes in any form hold in Latvian cuisine.
I like a tart potato salad; adding the vinegar to the potatoes right when they finish cooking is a great balance to the wee bit of mayonnaise added right at the end. Of course, you can adjust your vinegar/mayonnaise balance according to taste.
Long Weekend Potato Salad (for 4 – 6)
1. Start a large pot of water boiling on the stove.
2. As this recipe calls for 3 hard boiled eggs, I usually place the eggs in the pot as the water heats up and let them cook before removing from the boiling water to cool.
3. While the water is heating up (and eggs are cooking), dice about 700 grams of new potatoes. The size of the dice depends upon your taste, and you can also use larger potatoes. The main thing to get the pieces to a uniform size so they will cook at the same rate.
4. After removing the eggs with a slotted spoon, place the potatoes into the boiling water and cook until fork tender. Strain into a colander when they are finished cooked. Shake the colander to get the potatoes as dry as possible and then dump into a large mixing bowl.
5. While the potatoes are still warm, add a few generous splashes of vinegar. I use cider vinegar (about 1/2 cup) but white or red wine vinegar would work just as well. Add salt and pepper and mix everything together. Remember to stir the potatoes every 5 minutes or so while you are moving through the next few steps to make sure all the pieces are absorbing the vinegar while they cool.
6. Peel and chop up the hard boiled eggs. Dice about 100 grams of red onion. Dice about 100 grams of dilled green beans (you can also use dill pickles or cornichons). Finely chop a handful of fresh chives if you have them on hand.
7. Mix the eggs, red onion, green beans/pickles, 20 mL capers and about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise into the potatoes. Mix in the chives, reserving a bit for garnish.
8. Season to taste. Garnish the top with the remaining chives before serving.
This is one of those recipes that you can play with depending upon your taste and your pantry. You could add some Dijon mustard along with the mayonnaise, olives instead of pickles, small red-skinned potatoes instead of fingerlings, substitute tarragon or basil in the place of the chives, green onions instead of the red onions….the options are endless and lots of room for creativity.
Regardless, it ultimately comes down to relaxing and making the most of the few summer long weekends we have. Bon appetit!