Insalata Di Patate (Potato Salad with Celery, Capers & Black Olives)

This wonderful recipe is from “Verdure: Vegetable Recipes from The American Academy in Rome”

Verdure is the fourth in a series of cookbooks that brings together favorite dishes served at the American Academy in Rome.  Each cookbook features an essential subject in the repertoire of the Rome Sustainable Food Project. Hammertown carries Verdure (vegetables) and Zuppe (soup) in this series.

Insalata Di Patate
Potato Salad with Celery, Capers and Black Olives

From the book: One of the tricky things with potato salad is that you have to constantly keep tasting it; one moment it seems like the salt and acidity are fine, then an hour or two later, it tastes bland.  I recommend making this salad well in advance so that the flavors have time to marry and develop, and you only have to re-season it once before serving.

  •  2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally 1/8″ thickinsalata-potato
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes)
  • 3 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 4 TBL white vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 parsley springs, picked and chopped (about 4 TBL)
  • 1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Gaeta olives, oven-roasted or oil-cured black olives

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil.

2. When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it, and add the celery. Blanch until it is still slightly crunchy, about 2 minutes. Remove the celery using a slotted spoon (reserve the water) and scatter it on a baking sheet to cool.
3. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain them and scatter on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
4. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil energetically, until the dressing has emulsified. (Or use one of our great salad dressing jars).
5. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle  but still warm, peel them using a paring knife. Carefully cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices.
6. In a large bowl, season the warm potatoes with salt and pepper. Whisk the mustard vinaigrette and gently toss the potatoes with it. Add the parsley, capers, celery, and olives, and mix well. Let it sit for an hour. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

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