Finally. Warm weather is finally here in Minnesota! I know parts of the country have been having ridiculous heat waves recently, but we’ve been waiting (not-so-very) patiently for the weather to get nice here. Yesterday it finally did, and it was glorious! It’s remarkable to see the change in attitude and manners once decent weather shows up. Everyone– and I mean everyone– is just so much happier and more pleasant. It’ll be another story once the high heat and humidity eventually find their way here.
I did my best yesterday to blind people with my extremely white Minnesota legs. Not that this is any different than later in the summer. I basically vary between stark white and just very pale. Years ago I wished I had more color, but now I’m fine with my lack of sun-induced color, so I’ll continue to lather on the sunscreen.
Where was I going with all of this? Oh yeah… summer, heat, shorts….potato salad! Grilling last night was a no-brainer, so I made a bowl of one of my favorite summer potato salads to kick off the season. In this version, I’ve accompanied the potatoes with spring ramps, radishes, celery, and parsley. Ramps are fabulous, but are around for such a short time, scallions replace them when they are no longer available. A delicate dressing of lemon, olive oil, garlic, and anchovies is poured on the warm yellow potatoes to really saturate them with flavor. The crunchy vegetables are added later, once the potatoes have cooled a bit, then the remaining dressing is added. This potato salad gets better and better the longer it sits. And it’s perfect for picnics since it doesn’t contain any dairy. I hope you give it a try!
The Recipe: Spring Potato Salad with Ramps and Radishes
3 pounds yellow potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bunch radishes, chopped
1 bunch ramps or scallions, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
For the Dressing:
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
juice of 2 lemons (about 5 tablespoons)
3-4 small anchovies, smashed into a paste
1/2 cup good quality olive oil (California Olive Ranch gets my vote)
salt and fresh cracked pepper
good crunchy sea salt to finish
Place a steamer in a large saucepan. Add a bit of water to the bottom. Add the potatoes and steam until potatoes are nearly done. Turn off the burner and keep the cover on for an additional 10-15 minutes to ensure the potatoes are fully cooked. This technique keeps the potatoes from being loaded with water, which sometimes happens when boiled, and from being over-cooked which can lead to mushiness. Check them after 10 minutes, and if they’re tender, remove the lid.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, add the garlic, anchovies, Dijon, lemon juice, and pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk. Then slowly add the olive oil, whisking the entire time. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Remember that potatoes require a bit of salt to let their flavor shine through. However, the anchovies will supply a lot of that saltiness, so I generally wait to make a final judgment about adding more salt until the potato salad has been refrigerated and the flavors have had a chance to meld together.
When the potatoes are done steaming, add them to a large bowl and pour about 2/3 of the dressing over them while they are hot. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the potatoes and dressing together. Let sit until mostly cool, then add the vegetables and the remainder of the dressing. Fold everything together, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. When ready to serve, let it come to room temperature– the flavors are brighter when they are not completely cold. Sprinkle with a crunchy sea salt before serving. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!