This is a super easy recipe that anyone can pull together. Best of all, it gave me an excuse to use the mini food processor I bought a few years ago but has been sitting in a drawer waiting for me to return to cooking. Tossing the salsa ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until finely chopped is the easiest way to go, but certainly isn't necessary. Chopping and combining all the ingredients by hand is just as simple and won't add too much time to the recipe.
All said, this recipe took under 20 minutes to pull together once I had all the ingredients in front of me, since you can make the salsa in the 15 minutes it took the potatoes to cook. My only variation is that I added a splash of lime because the salad seemed to be calling for it with the jalapeno and cilantro flavors. It's a spicy flavor that is a fresh take on traditional potato side dishes.
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When I was a kid potato salad was a fixture at every barbeque, picnic and family party. It was all pretty much the same stuff, lots of mayonnaise and green onions. Believe it or not, at a party of the extended family, there might be three or four bowls of potato salad on offer. The burning question was always whether I was going to be forced into eating my aunt's potato salad that had hard boiled egg in it, or get to eat my mom's which did not, but had a daring dash of paprika on top. Things have changed, and there are lots of different potato salad recipes available. Our current favourite is a roasted red potato salad with parsley and pine nut pesto. I was put off it slightly because I made it for a dinner party earlier this summer and my daughter and I ended up with pine mouth, which was deeply unpleasant and lasted for over a week. So when I found myself with some sweet little fingerling potatoes, I wanted to try something different. I really liked this, but unfortunately I served it to a friend who hates cilantro. Oops. It would still be delicious if you made it with parsley rather than cilantro. This dish is great picnic material. It's easy to make, it's really good at room temperature, and there is nothing in it to spoil if it's a hot day.
This recipe is from Gourmet, June, 2000.
Fingerling Potato Salad with Green Chili-Cilantro Salsa
4 lb fingerling potatoes or other small boiling potatoes
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeds and ribs removed from 2 of them
2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch, then simmer until just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and rinse under cold water until slightly cooled. Halve lengthwise and while still warm gently toss with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Cool potatoes to room temperature, then season with salt and pepper.
3. While potatoes cook, coarsely chop jalapeños and pulse in a food processor with cilantro, shallots, garlic, oil, and remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar until finely chopped.
4. Toss potatoes with salsa.