Looking for new heroes in an old kitchen; I spy a stick of chalk, that rolls off the counter and snaps clean in half, on the bare linoleum floor. Right next to a brown paper bag full of Potatoes. The Fingerling kind. Pale yellow, waxy, like the bulbous swollen fingers of a generous Great Aunt. I boil all of them. Then skin them, and dice, until they’re all the size of a thick weighty coins. I wade the discs through a pool of herbaceous green sauce… swimming with Dijon, dotted with buoys of Cornichons, floating Dill Pickles and mashed, reedy Anchovies. Potato salad; upgraded. My new kitchen hero.
‘NO MAYONNAISE’ POTATO SALAD: This potato salad contains plenty of thick Dijon Mustard, the best of Summer’s herbs; fresh Dill, Basil and Cilantro, and the secret: a good glug of Dill Pickle juice.
Take a big handful of fresh Dill, fresh Basil and fresh Cilantro and chop them all up finely. Plonk the herbs into a bowl. Add a heaped tablespoon of finely chopped Cornichons, (3 or 4 small ones), a heaped tablespoon of finely chopped Dill pickle spears (something like Kosher Dill Vlasic spears works well), and a good splash of dill pickle juice. Add 2 or 3 mashed Anchovies. A good teaspoon of kosher Salt and a grind of Pepper and a generous heaped tablespoon of Dijon Mustard. Pour in some good quality Olive Oil, and small amount of Red Wine Vinegar, (just under a tablespoon should do it). Mix.
Peel the skins off (about) a pound of still hot Fingerling potatoes that have been boiled till tender in salted water. Dice into quarter inch disks. Put the potatoes into the bowl with the sauce and mix through. Taste. These measurements are approximate. Add more Dijon, or Red Wine vinegar, to taste. Or Oil if it needs more lubrication.
Serve with a well seasoned Char grilled Steak. Some fresh grape tomatoes tossed in a little minced fresh garlic, Olive Oil and Salt and freshly ground pepper .
NOTE: Use whatever potatoes you love. I like Fingerling but Yukon Gold is good, or plain yellow waxy potatoes will work just as well. The key is to make the potato pieces all the same size, and stick to the quarter-inch size rule. They need to be thin, some can even be mashed, so that the sauce really gets a chance to coat the potatoes. The salad is best made the day of, or even as close to eating it as possible. If your making it for a evening BBQ, make it late afternoon and then leave it out of the fridge until it’s time to eat. Try not to refrigerate, unless you really need to… it really won’t taste the same if you do.
LEFTOVERS: Any leftover salad the next day can be chopped into finer pieces, and browned in a hot skillet with some butter to be made into a hash. Serve with a runny Fried Egg on top and some thick double smoked bacon on the side.