Friday, July 06, 2007

Fresh Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of those foods which I associate with summer. A barbecue without the famous potato salad is like a birthday without a cake. You shouldn't go without it. Ok, whole potatoes wrapped in foil and baked on the barbecue aren't all that bad either but that cool, creamy, tanginess of a good potato salad is hard to beat. The only thing I don't like about potato salad is the way it seems to magically end up on your hips. Let's face it, the required globs of mayo make it something that should be approached with care!

A few days ago I wanted to make some potato salad to accompany our 4th of July dinner. I decided to leave out the mayo and try something a little different. Believe me, I've tried many "healthier" varieties before, usually the ones made with low fat yogurt, but honestly, they didn't quite cut it for me. I find yogurt to be too liquidy and I miss that quintessential" creaminess" of an honest home-style potato salad. Enter creme fraîche!

The beauty about using creme fraîche instead of mayo in a potato salad is not just in the calories and fat you'll save, but I also find the flavor fresher and less greasy, yet still lovely and creamy. And believe me, a little goes a long way!

Here's my basic recipe but feel free to add or subtract according to your own tastes!

*450g potatoes cut in small chunks
*2 tbsps creme fraîche
*2 tsps grainy mustard

*1 spring onion, finely chopped
*small bunch of parsley, chopped

*small bunch of mint, chopped

*salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes for 8 minutes, drain, rinse with cold water and leave to cool thoroughly. In a small bowl whisk creme fraîche and mustard. When potatoes have cooled, transfer to a bowl, add creme fraîche and mustard mix and throw in the herbs. Stir carefully and season with salt and pepper according to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of sweet paprika powder.
Note: I can imagine that a tablespoon or two of capers would also go beautifully with this salad.