Confetti Potato Salad

Confetti Potato Salad

When we found a package of mixed new potatoes in the market, I couldn’t pass up the chance to play with the lively colors for thePotato Fe(a)st Event at DK’s Culinary Bazaar.
Although my first instinct with new potatoes is always to roast them, I knew from past experience that roasting, while intensifying the flavor, dulled the vibrant colors.

Potato Feast logo

(Raw and steamed Okinawan purple sweet and Peruvian purple new potatoes)

Steaming would preserve the color and keep them firm, but they would require some strong flavors to punch through that waxy texture. Since T has never been a fan of mayonnaise-based salads, I’m always keen to try any potato salad without mayo. The sharp mix of lemon and feta in this recipe seemed the perfect foil for the bland potatoes, but the original called for kalamata olives, which we didn’t have. I’ve substituted capers for the olives, and so hesitate to call this Moldavian Potato Salad, which is what it was titled in the library book I borrowed. At any rate, I was happy with the rich colors and sassy flavor that comes through in the end.

This salad joins “Purple & Squeak,” made with the Okinawan sweets, in going out to DK for her event celebrating the International Year of the Potato.

(heavily adapted from The Potato Cookbook)

For the potatoes:
2.2 lb. (1kg) total of mixed red, Yukon gold, and Peruvian purple potatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2-4 TBL. olive oil
sea salt
ground black pepper

Wash potatoes well, including a soak in a solution of 1 TBL. white vinegar for every 2 qt./liter clean water. Scrub, rinse and place whole, unpeeled potatoes in large steamer that can hold potatoes in single layer. Cook over medium high steam until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife blade. You might have to remove smaller potatoes earlier so they do not become water-logged.

Combine minced garlic and oil. While potatoes are hot, cube them into 1/2-inch (1.5-2cm) cubes, place in large bowl, and dress with garlic oil. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper. Allow to cool to room temperature.

To finish salad:
4 scallions (green onions), white and light green parts only (save the dark green for garnish), sliced thin
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 sprig of fresh dill (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1 lemon

When potatoes have cooled, add scallions, feta, capers, dill and lemon juice, and toss gently to combine. Taste and correct seasoning — it should be lemony and salty-tart from the cheese and capers. Serve at room temperature. Can be chilled if made ahead, but allow to come to room temperature before serving. Garnish with reserved scallion greens, if desired.

Plate alongside your favorite finger sandwiches or quiche for an elegant tea or brunch, or fried chicken for a picnic in the park. Also makes a terrific sandwich filling stuffed in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers, or rolled in a tortilla wrap with a smear of hummus to bind (I didn’t have hummus for the wrap seen here, but was wishing I did).

By keeping the skins on the potatoes, this salad seems to fit the criteria for dad’s gout management diet, so it will be included in the Gout Diet Challenge round-up for him.