Every year on August 15 Julia Child comes to mind since it is her birthday and would have been 101st Birthday. She was such a huge influence on all of us who cook and enjoy eating so I try and make one or two of her recipes every year on this day. This is a most delicious light “very French” potato salad. I am not a huge fan of potatoes swimming in mayonnaise so this was such a welcome treat. It is moderately difficult and that just means there are a few steps involved. It’s worth the effort, her cooking was never effortless but well worth it.
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces–just good food from fresh ingredients” Julia Child
1 lb. “boiling” potatoes, all the same size and shape if at all possible
2 tbsp. shallots, finely chopped/minced
White Pepper, freshly ground if available, if not use Black Pepper and I promise not to tell
1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 1/2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
2 – 3 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped or small little pieces
2-3 Tbsp. light olive oil
Fill a 3 quart saucepan half full with cold water. Wash the potatoes. One at a time peel a potato , and if it’s round and fat rather than long and thin, cut it in half lengthwise. I just cut 1/4 ” slices and left them like that. After you cut potatoes , drop the slices into the pan of water, to prevent them from turning an ugly color while you prepare the rest.
I cooked potatoes and made salad within 1/2 hour to prevent the possiblility of them turning grey.
Then drain out the water the potatoes sat in and add clean water to cover potatoes and add a good bit of salt to the water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for probably 15 / 20 minutes depending on potatoes, just until fork tender–keep testing by eating a small piece of potato to be sure.
Crunchy undercooked potatoes are dreadful, and overcooked potatoes will just fall apart.
Drain out the cooking water. At once cover the pan and set aside for a few minutes ( about 5 minutes) just to allow the slices to firm up. Then uncover the potatoes and start to season them as follows.
Get a nice roomy bowl and toss gently with the shallots, add the stock, vinegar and parsley. Let sit for app. 10 minutes or so, tossing gently a few times. Then correct salt and pepper seasoning, toss with the olive oil. I let the potatoes sit for about 1/2 hour to absorb the flavors at room temperature.
The salad should keep a day or two covered in the fridge.