Roasted Provincial-Style Potato Salad...
It's human nature too think "my way is the right way." We often draw conclusions about a certain matter, then fossilize them in our minds. Even with focused effort of being open to new ideas, sometimes our brains simply hit the "automatic reset button" and we are back to square one.
This sums up my feelings on potato salad. I've eaten a myriad of potato salads over the years, and always felt that nothing could compare to my mom's classic mustard version. It has a bright yellow hue; the result of a LARGE dollop of yellow mustard. Mom also adds dill, hard-boiled eggs, sweet relish, celery, mayo and paprika. You know the kind. In my mind, this WAS potato salad, anything else was lacking! Case closed.
Until one day...the day I had a hankering for potato salad, but found my pantry bare. There I stood, desperate for potato salad, with no eggs, relish, celery or dill! Heaven help me--what would I do???
I took a deep breath and decided to improvise. What did I have? I had new potatoes, not russets. I had capers, shallots, garlic, Dijon mustard, and some Herbs De Provence. How about provincial-style potato salad? Yes, that was the answer...and the answer was goo-ood! In hindsight, I often find that improvisation births many of my best kitchen creations. As Plato said, "Necessity is the mother of invention." I say, necessity keeps you open-minded--at least in the kitchen!
In my heart, mom's potato salad will always be #1. But I do love this new variety, tremendously! Since that day, I have swapped dried Herbs De Provence, for fresh rosemary, thyme and lavender. This creates a BRIGHTER, floral, french-countryside quality. I've also taken to roasting the potatoes instead of boiling them--producing a much better color and texture! As with ALL potato salad, the longer it sits, the better it gets. I like to make this the night before it's going to be served. That way, the flavors have time to fully absorb into the potatoes! But, if you can't wait--it will still taste wonderful moments after mixing!
Roasted Provincial-Style Potato Salad
2 lbs. new potatoes, chopped into eighths
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot, chopped
2 Tb. capers, 1 Tb. brine from caper jar
2 tsp. Rosemary, chopped
2 tsp. Thyme, chopped
2 tsp. Lavender, chopped (dried or fresh)
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400*. Cut each potato into bite-size pieces. Lay them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with a little oil. Lightly salt and pepper.
Shake the pan to spread the oil around; then roast for 30-40 minutes—until golden brown and tender. Make sure to flip once half way through, and add the chopped garlic to the potatoes 5-10 minutes before they are ready to come out of the oven.
Once the potatoes and garlic are roasted, allow them to cool for a few minutes; then toss them with the capers, fresh herbs, Dijon and mayo. Mix well, and add a little caper juice to season and thin out the dressing. *Be careful with the caper brine—it’s really salty!
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 4+.