I went to a party last week and had the opportunity to bring two dishes. I actually like being asked to bring food to other people’s houses, because it gives me the opportunity to try out recipes on a wider audience as well as to cook for more than two people. This time, I was obliged to provide the vegetarian sides. Because the party was a cook-out, I wanted to bring traditional summer outdoors fare, but with a twist. I am happy to report that both dishes were a big hit, and I actually didn’t make enough, which is sad for the guests but flattering to the cook.
I got the recipe for Horseradish Slaw from Cookthink, so I won’t repeat it here. Please visit that great blog to find it and other wonderful recipes. The host of the party told me later that he ate the little bit that was left over for breakfast the next morning and loved it. He couldn’t identify the zingy ingredient; horseradish plus apple cider vinegar makes for a very interesting slaw. My notes: I substituted red onion for the sweet onion, used bagged, shredded slaw for convenience and upped the proportion of mayonnaise slightly. This recipe definitely elevates coleslaw to a whole new level.
I also brought a French Potato Salad. The original source of the recipe is Cook’s Illustrated The New Best Recipe. While I appreciate potato salad in all its forms, I think this is my favorite version. It relies on vinegar and olive oil for flavor rather than mayonnaise, and it tastes good warm or at room temperature, perfect for cook-outs.
French Potato Salad
Time to make: ~20 minutes
What you need:
- 1 lb. red potatoes (4 medium or 12 small), sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tbsp. champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh herbs (I used dill, basil and tarragon), minced
- pepper to taste
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, add cold water and salt well
- Bring the water to a boil, covered
- Skewer the garlic cloves and submerge in the boiling water for 45 seconds; remove, let cool and mince
- Simmer the potatoes until tender, about 5 minutes
- Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water
- Whisk together the reserved water, garlic, vinegar, oil, shallot, herbs and pepper
- Drizzle the dressing over the potatoes and toss gently
- Serve warm or at room temperature
Notes: This salad is very versatile. Optionally, you might add blue cheese, toasted walnuts, capers, sliced cornichons or similar ingredients that catch your fancy.