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French-Style Potato Salad

Avoiding the richness of the typical mayonnaise-dressed potato salad, this version is dressed French style, with a red wine vinaigrette seasoned with Dijon mustard. The flavors are tangy and robust without the excessive fat and calories of mayonnaise. Small red-skinned potatoes are ideal for this simple salad: they are pretty, cook quickly and do not need to be peeled. Use the tender, light-colored stalks at the heart of a head of celery for slicing and mixing with the cooked potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. small, round red-skinned potatoes, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter  
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar 
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt  
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery heart
  • 1/4 cup fresh chervil leaves, coarsely chopped 

Directions:

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until blended.

When the potatoes are ready, drain them. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, quarter them and add them to the dressing. Add the celery and chervil, folding gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).