Inspired by the Arab Salad (or Israeli Salad), this recipe features many of its hallmark ingredients–tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and more. But then, it takes a detour. In the end, Super Crunchy Potato Salad tastes refreshing, loaded with satisfying textures and absolutely delicious!
Summer heat can be brutal on fresh veggies. If your celery, yellow pepper or cucumber are feeling a little limp or less than crisp, soak the chopped vegetables in some ice water for about 20-30 minutes. Then, drain off the water, and add them to the salad. This will ensure maximum crunch! If they are already very crisp and crunchy, there’s no need to take this extra step.
Before mixing the salad together, make sure the baby red potatoes and the shallots in the olive oil are completely cooled. If they’re warm, they will impact the texture of the salad. To get the most out of this salad, it needs to be served immediately. If it sits too long, the tomatoes, pepper and cucumber will release their liquid and the fresh herbs will wilt.
I like to use agave in salad dressings, because it is a liquid and integrates easily. If you don’t have agave on hand, you can use sugar instead (1/2-1 tsp). Agave is sweeter than sugar, so you may need a bit more sugar for it to nail the flavor. Add 1/2 tsp of sugar, taste it, and adjust, if needed.
Super Crunchy Potato Salad
1.5 pounds baby red potatoes
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup celery, sliced on a bias
1 cup English cucumber, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup orange pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (remove the seeds, if sensitive to heat)
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a very large pot, add ~1 inch of water, and place a steamer basket inside. Place the baby red potatoes in a single layer across the top of the steamer basket, and bring the water to a boil. Cover with a lid and steam for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender enough to eat. Cool completely, then cut into quarters and set aside.
2. In a small skillet, add shallot, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Simmer over medium heat for 1 minute, or until shallots are soft, but do not brown or burn. Remove from heat, and allow it to completely cool.
2. Once the shallots and olive oil completely cools, add it to a large mixing bowl with everything remaining in the recipe. Mix gingerly to keep the potatoes from falling apart.
3. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? agave?). Serve immediately.