Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Danish Potato Salad

I have yet to meet a potato salad I don't like. Scratch that - a homemade potato salad I don't like (some of the grocery deli case specimens are just gross). With mayo, with Miracle Whip, with a herbed vinaigrette, it's all good in my book.

So when I had my first taste of Danish potato salad this summer, I was hooked. And it's a perfect farmers market salad this time of year. You can literally find almost every ingredient there: new potatoes, jewel-like radish, crisp cucumbers, leafy celery, slender scallions, a variety of herbs and maybe even farm-fresh eggs. I used red new potatoes in my version, but they were a wee bit firm, so I'd suggest using a potato with a higher moisture content (that will break down a bit after cooking). I also used a bit too much scallion, so would also suggest tasting your vegetables as you go (How much of a bite do those onions have? Does the radish taste mild or bitter?) so you can adjust quantity as needed.

Sadly, summer is speeding by, so do yourself a favor and hit up your farmers market soon so you can try this salad the way the Danes intended.

Danish Potato Salad
Apparently, a true Danish potato salad has what's called a cooked dressing. I cheated and used prepared ingredients.
4 C. Diced white potatoes
Water for boiling
Salt for boiling
2 T. Cider vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 C. Miracle Whip
Splash of pickle juice (optional)
2 Eggs, hard boiled and chopped
1/2 Cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
5 Medium Radishes, sliced into thin half moons
1/4 C. Red onion or scallion, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Handful of chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon) (optional)
Boil potatoes in salted water until just cooked through. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid.
A la the Julia Child Method, drain and combine hot potatoes with vinegar and about a third of the reserved cooking liquid. Allow to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, Miracle Whip and pickle juice (if using). Add potatoes and toss to coat. Then add the egg and chopped vegetables, herbs (if using). Combine well.
Add additional salt and ground black pepper to taste. Chill before serving.

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