Up until yesterday, I still had a big pile of Vermont red potatoes from my husband’s trip to the Northeast. I will not be letting one of the succulent little orbs go unused and this recipe that I clipped earlier this summer popped into my head. And, much to my joy, sweet yellow corn is still in the store in ample supplies. This potato salad is extremely easy and a refreshing alternative to the heavy, mayonnaise based picnic fair. And it is fantastic at room temperature or cold. You will want to give this one a try.
This recipe is credited to Ellyn Shull of Kirkland, Washington. It is a Better Homes and Gardens Prize Winning recipe and you will see why. It is fresh and seasonal and simple…my favorite qualities in a salad. Don’t overlook Better Homes and Gardens as a recipe source. I have found some of my favorites in this magazine and I think it is because they emphasize very user friendly recipes for busy people. My changes to the recipe are merely cosmetic. I will add the original instructions in parentheses in case you want the options. You can boil your vegetables in two pots, but I chose to cook them one after the other to save on washing pots and so I wouldn’t have two giant bubbling, steaming pots going in the kitchen.
1 pound sliced red potatoes (or yellow)
3 fresh ears of corn (2 ears or a cup frozen corn, thawed…please try fresh if you can, though)
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters (4 Roma)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
¼ cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon chopped shallot (or red onion)
½ teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard (or regular Dijon)
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ cup or more crumbled feta cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove and season it with salt. Shuck the corn and remove the silk. Boil the ears of corn for about 4 to 5 minutes. You want it to retain its crispness so don’t let it go longer than that. Remove the corn to a plate to cool. Slice the potatoes and add them to the pot of boiling water. Gently boil the potatoes until they are just tender. You do not want them falling apart, so test them at about 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and rinse them with cool water.
Meanwhile put the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and sugar in a lidded jar and shake it to combine.
When the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the corn off of the cob. If you hold the cob vertically and slice down with a very sharp knife in a diagonal fashion, the corn will just peel away from the cob in these attractive chunks. To the extent possible leave them in these clusters, as they look really pretty this way in the salad. Allow the potatoes and corn to cool completely to room temperature or put them in the refrigerator to cool until you are ready to serve.
You can plate the salads individually with potatoes, corn, some dressing, tomatoes, feta, and then the torn basil, or you can combine the potatoes, corn, tomatoes and dressing in a large bowl and serve it with the feta and basil scattered on top. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
I was very happy to be able to use my OXO mandoline for these potatoes. The cooking time is so short and it was very nice to know that they were all done at exactly the same moment because they were all exactly the same thickness. I tried to use the mandoline to slice the corn off of the cob because I have seen it done that way before, but it didn’t work as well as a good old fashioned knife.
Incidentally, I have always used the same standard set of Henkels knives. But about 2 years ago I treated myself to a Santoku knife and I love it. It has a thinner blade and is a dream for prepping vegetables.