Mediterranean potato salad goes well with barbecue
When I first was asked to prepare a potato salad for 90 people, I hesitated a bit, mainly because my preconceived idea of a potato salad did not make me very enthusiastic. Then I looked into few recipes and realized I could use fresh ingredients and make a very healthy potato salad.
The variety of potato that you use is not very crucial to the end result. The main factor for success is to stop the potatoes' cooking when they start to transition from firm to soft. That's the timing factor that determines whether your potatoes will not take the form of mashed potatoes.
Red potatoes cook differently than gold Yukon or russet potatoes. If you use red potatoes or gold Yukon, they can be cooked with the skin on and mixed as they are. Russet potatoes need to have the skin removed due to its thickness. Using farm-fresh eggs and a high-quality olive oil will make the difference in flavor. Red and green onions are in season, so use this opportunity to add them.
MEDITERRANEAN POTATO SALAD
8-10 large potatoes, quartered into 1-1⁄2-inch cubes (if using red or gold Yukon, keep the skin on; peel russets)
6-8 farm-fresh eggs
1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
1 bunch of green onions (about 5 pieces), trimmed and sliced very thinly (discard the end pieces)
1-1⁄2 cups aioli-mayo dressing, recipe follows
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup black Kalamata pitted olives, thinly sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup Meyer lemon juice
Cook the potatoes with the eggs in a large pot of boiling water. Remove the eggs after 12 minutes and let them cool in cold water before peeling. Remove the eggshells by first cracking the thinner round end, then chop the hard-boiled eggs and set aside.
Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender. Drain the pot and run cold water over the potatoes for five minutes, until cool. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, aioli dressing and diced eggs. Add salt and pepper and continue mixing, ideally using your hands. Add the parsley, olives, feta, oil and lemon juice and mix together well. Let the flavors settle before serving.
Any barbecued meat, fish or poultry will go perfectly with this potato salad recipe.
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
1 farm-fresh egg yolk, raw or coddled, see cook's notes
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup Meyer lemon juice
Cook's notes: In this recipe, you may use the egg yolk either raw or coddled. Generally the dressing's pH level is thought to be acidic enough to kill bacteria contained in the raw egg. To coddle the egg yolk: Boil enough water to immerse the egg still in its shell. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully lower the egg into the boiled water. Let the egg rest in the water for one minute, then remove the egg to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. When cooled, separate the egg and add the yolk to the food processor.
In a food processor, combine the garlic and mustard. Add the egg yolk and gradually add the olive and canola oils together in a thin stream while blending. Process until the mixture is thick and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and process until the dressing is firm but still a bit fluffy.