Provencal Potato Salad
One of the great things about my small college town is the local farmers’ market during the summer. Every Saturday morning, local farmers and merchants would set up their booths in Merchant Square, selling anything and everything from fresh local produce to baked goods to seafood to plants and herbs. It’s a great way for college students to get good quality vegetables and other groceries for cheap.
Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still nice to browse from tent to tent and admire the beautiful imperfections of nature displayed in wooden crates, often still sitting on the back of the farmer’s truck. It’s also a good feeling to know that what you’re buying is from local farmers, has little to no pesticides, and didn’t travel a great distance just so you can buy it. Good for your wallet and the environment!
This Provencal Potato Salad recipe is from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It builds on a classic French potato salad by adding the rich flavors of ingredients from the Provence region of France. The salad had an unexpectedly fresh and clean taste; a pleasant sour undertone that went surprisingly well with the eggs and potatoes.
The haricots verts, red and white potatoes, cherry tomatoes, capers, and eggs all complemented each other well. The homemade vinaigrette, which included Dijon mustard, olive oil, scallions, balsamic vinegar, and seasonings provided a rich tanginess that brought the entire dish together as a cohesive blend of subtle flavors and textures.
Provencal Potato Salad, from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1 recipe French Potato Salad, here
1/2 pound haricots verts, stems removed
1 6-ounce can Italian tuna, drained and flaked (omitted)
1/2 cup capers, drained
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
1/2 cup black olives, pitted (omitted)
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered, optional
6 anchovy fillets, optional (omitted)
1. In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch haricots verts for 3 to 5 minutes, until barely tender. Drain and immerse into ice water for 5 minutes. Drain again.
2. In a large bowl, combine the haricots verts with the potato salad, tuna, capers, tomatoes, onions, olives, eggs, and anchovy fillets. Serve at room temperature.
I omitted quite a few ingredients from the recipe according to my tastes and it still turned out very well. I was really surprised by how well the vinaigerette went with the eggs and potatoes! I never imagined a sour or tangy flavor to accompany those two ingredients in such a good way at all.
For the perfect hard-boiled eggs, put eggs in a pan with cold water that just barely covers the eggs and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove pot from heat and let stand covered for 10 to 12 minutes. Using this method, you’ll get very nice light yolks that are fluffy and not hard and darkened.
I actually quite enjoyed this salad slightly chilled rather than at room temperature. Great for a hot summer day when all you want is a light dinner!