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May 2006 Issue
by Robbin Orbison
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Creamy Dijon Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs fingerling or other waxy potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes whole with skins on until a small thin knife slides easily in and out. This can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Average sized fingerlings will take about 20 minutes, but start testing at 15 to avoid overcooking. When cooked, shock the potatoes in an ice water bath to stop them from cooking further and to make them cool enough to handle. Drain and pat dry. Dice or slice as you prefer. Place in large bowl along with celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk all dressing ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Pour over potatoes and toss gently. Best if refrigerated for several hours and allowed to come back to room temperature before serving.

Notes: Many people cut their potatoes first and then boil, but boiling them whole in their jackets will cause them to absorb less water and hold a better texture for potato salad.

  • Yields: 8-12 servings


Lemon Pasta Salad

  • 16 oz tricolor pasta spirals
  • 1 small red onion sliced thin
  • 1 small red or yellow bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 cup oil cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop further cooking. Place in large bowl and add onion, bell pepper and olives. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk olive oil and lemon juice together until blended and pour over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with parsley, toss lightly, taste and adjust seasonings.

Notes: If you cannot find oil cured black olives, you can substitute any other good quality black olive such as Kalamata or Nicoise, but oil cured olives have a distinct flavor and texture that works so will in this dish.

  • Yields: 8-12 servings

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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