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Author Notes: This potato salad uses spring onions two ways â€” pickled, and in a vibrant pesto. Any small potato (red new potatoes, or fingerlings) would work here, but if you ask Alexandre Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo and an avid fan of the potato, "the best, without question, are the purplish ones, known in Paris by the name vitelottes." While you might not notice the taste difference he did, it's easy to see why he liked them: They transform the humble potato into the visual showstopper he hoped they would become. —PaperandSalt
Serves 8, as a side
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 bunch spring onions (or ramps), greens and whites separated
- 2 1/2 pounds pounds Peruvian purple potatoes (or fingerling potatoes), scrubbed and halved
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- In a small bowl, combine vinegar, salt, sugar and 1/4 cup water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Thinly slice the whites of the green onions, and submerge in vinegar mixture. Set aside.
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water until just submerged. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and set aside.
- Coarsely chop the onion greens and place in a food processor, along with pine nuts, parmesan and garlic. Pulse until a thick paste forms. While food processor is running, add olive oil in a slow stream until pesto is smooth.
- Place potatoes in a large bowl and fold in pesto until potatoes are coated. Drain onion whites and add to bowl, along with parsley, lemon juice and nutmeg. Toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.