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Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, but barbecue season is here to stay -- at least until September! About ten years ago, I came across a recipe for a grilled potato salad in an issue of Cook's Illustrated. I was intrigued by the grilling technique, and it was the first time I'd made a potato salad with vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise, which was a revelation. The other thing I loved about the recipe was this clever technique: the just-grilled potatoes are tossed first with a little rice vinegar, which absorbs quickly into the warm potatoes, and then with a couple of handfuls of arugula, which wilts gently under their heat.
Over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe, using red wine vinegar for the vinaigrette instead of more rice vinegar, leaving out the chopped bell pepper, substituting red onion for the original shallot, and eventually forgoing the grill. For me, the fresh, bold flavors in the salad are the reason for its success, and I found that grilling the potatoes can distract from this. But by all means use the grill if you’d like -- just blanch the potatoes first, and then finish them on skewers on the grill for a few minutes.
Potato Salad with Arugula and Dijon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Serves 6 to 8
- 1/2 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 3 cups arugula, stems removed, washed and dried and very roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup good olive oil