While potato salad is often thought of as a summertime picnic side dish, fall is the perfect time to dip into a comforting bowl of potatoes. The Fingerlings Vinaigrette in Deb Perelman's The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, for example, would make an ideal side dish for any fall dinner. The eggs add richness and a fun fluffy texture, the vinaigrette is boldly mustard-foward, and the pickled celery slices contribute crunch and tang to the creamy and subtly earthy potatoes.
Why I picked this recipe: Fingerlings abound at grocery stores these days—adding mustardy vinaigrette and pickled celery seemed like a deliciously unique way to dress these fall staples.
What worked: Elegant, yet bold-flavored, this potato salad was easy to put together and pretty flawless in flavor.
What didn't: I personally would have liked a little less egg and a little more pickled celery on my potatoes, but that's an easy fix.
Suggested tweaks: The elements may sound disparate and weird, but I'd encourage you to try this salad as written first and then tweak proportions on subsequent iterations.
Excerpted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Copyright © 2012 by Deb Perelman. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available wherever books are sold.
- Pickled Celery
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on an angle
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 pound (905 grams) fingerling potatoes, boiled until fork-tender and fully cooled
- 2 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, cut into 4 quarters
- Crumbled bacon, minced fresh herbs, few tufts of frisée or arugula leaves (optional)
Pickle your celery: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water,salt, and sugar. Add the celery, and set the mixture aside for about an hour in the fridge. If you don’t have an hour, 30 minutes will still pickle them to deliciousness, but they will only get better with age.
Make the dressing: Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside.
Assemble the salad: Halve the fingerlings lengthwise, and arrange them, cut sides up, on a platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette generously over the potatoes. Press each chunk of egg through a mesh sieve over the potatoes and vinaigrette, yolk first (this makes it neater), so that all of the fingerlings are coated with tufts of egg. Garnish with pickled-celery slices, and enjoy immediately.