Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tri-colored Potato Salad Provencal

If only Van Gogh had used these colors in The Potato Eaters.
That bleak masterpiece would have been even more brilliant. And if he had painted with olive oils? Ok then. Moving right along...

In this vibrant, Provence-inspired version of potato salad, I use a Dijon vinaigrette instead of that heavy, old-school mayo. Three kinds of potatoes and a trio of bell peppers make for a truly palette-able dish. While the purple potatoes are native to Peru, they’re now grown in California, Oregon and Washington and can be found at farmer’s markets and even Trader Joe’s.

The zesty flavors of the vinaigrette, capers, shallots, peppers and dill work wonderfully together, but if dill is not your deal, you can use basil or flat-leaf parsley instead. A combination of all three herbs is delicious too. Roasting the peppers in olive oil gives them a rich, robust flavor, and I happened to have some on hand already, but if you don’t feel like going to the trouble, raw ones work well in a more traditional potato-salad way.

In a recipe-naming quandary, I struggled with using the stodgy term "potato salad." But when you serve the potatoes on a bed of greens and let the vinaigrette fall where it may, it is literally a potato salad. A Tri-colored Potato Salad Provencal, that is.


1 ½ - 2 pounds of combined red, white and purple potatoes

½ cup of combined red, yellow and orange bell peppers, chopped either raw or roasted

1 TBSP capers

Large handful of fresh dill, chopped

Dijon Vinaigrette

¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar

½ heaping tsp Dijon mustard

1 medium shallot, minced

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Makes about 4 servings

Cut the potatoes into quarters (leaving skins on) and boil in salted water until fork-tender. Drain and let cool. While potatoes are boiling, prepare the vinaigrette, cut the peppers and chop the dill.

When potatoes are cool, put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, add vinaigrette and toss. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate for several hours' minimum, but preferably overnight. Before serving, let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes before plating on a bed of greens.