By Cat, July 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I’ve never been fond of traditional American Potato Salad; you know, the kind with hard boiled eggs and creamy mayonnaise dressing. I think its because as I child, I didn’t like the texture of mayo. And to this day I don’t like the commercial stuff (Best Foods, Miracle Whip, Hellman’s etc.), but can enjoy a good fresh homemade mayo.
This salad is designed as a side-salad, rather than a main-dish salad. It makes a wonderful accompaniment to grilled chicken, salmon, or steak.
Potato, Cucumber and Dill Salad
This recipe is adapted from one in the New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas, and serves 2. Haricots vert are small, thin French green beans, no more than 3 inches long. If you can’t get them, you can use regular young green beans snapped into 2 or 3 pieces, but it won’t be quite the same. Another alternative is to skip the beans and use more asparagus. Or use broccolini (baby broccoli).
Fresh dill leaves (the feathery part) are best for maximum flavor, but you could use dried dill weed in a pinch.
This salad is great with Fried Chicken or a grilled steak.
- 2 – 3 small red potatoes (about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter)
- ½ cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly in rounds
- 1 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion, its rings cut into halves or quarters, or, if very thin, can be left in rings
- ⅓ pound haricots verts
- ⅓ pound tender asparagus spears
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill, or 1 tablespoon dried dill weed.
- 1 recipe Lemon-Dill-Dijon Dressing
- steamer or saucepan (for blanching)
- small bowl
- salad bowl
- 2 salad plates for serving
- Prep: Scrub the potatoes, salt lightly and steam about 15 minutes until just tender (you can insert a toothpick with just a little pressure). Then chill a bit.
- Wash and trim the green beans. Snap off the woody end of the asparagus spears, and then cut the tender parts into 2-inch lengths. Steam beans for about 3 minutes, then add the asparagus and steam another 2-3 minutes. Remove from steamer and put in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, then chill with the potatoes.
- Peel and slice the cucumber; set aside
- Slice the onion–you want them to look like little crescents. If using fresh dill, snip the feathery leaves about ¼ – ½inch long, adding them to the onion in a small bowl
- Slice the potatoes into rounds about ¼ inch thick; If larger than 1 inch diameter, cut the rounds into halves.
- Arrange: Place potato slices in a serving bowl. If the potatoes are larger than 1 inch diameter, cut the rounds into halves.
- Add the onion and dill. Pour over a little of the dressing and toss gently so that the dill is well distributed.
- Add the cucumber, beans and asparagus. Add more dressing, and toss again.
- Serve on salad plates.
- New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas; for more about this book, see Beloved Cookbooks