Sunday, July 26, 2009

You Can Never Have Too Much Potato Salad - Miso Potato Salad

It's true. You can never have too much potato salad. Well, maybe that's not true for one sitting, and perhaps more to the point, what I really mean is, you can never have too many versions of potato salad. You might end up finding your own personal definitive version of the classic, but of course that doesn't mean that you won't try the version that shows up at this barbecue, or that potluck. There's always room for variations on the theme.

I am of the mind that there is also always room on the table in the summer for a side of it. Which is why a few weeks ago, when Leah and I found ourselves with a feast of three salads, grilled shrimp and squid, grilled corn and bread, she quite reasonably asked me, "We don't need potato salad as well, do we?"

Au contraire. Yes. Yes, we do.

And so she decided to experiment, and make it quick and easy. The result was an absolutely delicious potato salad with an asian twist, that would make a positively noble splash at any summer gathering. She graciously provided the recipe. I could eat this stuff for days.

I suppose you could make your own miso dressing from scratch, if you wanted to be fancy about it. You could also just buy a bottle at the grocery store and toss it together with a few things. These days, it's all about ease.

Easy Japanese Miso Potato Salad - Courtesy of Leah

2 lbs potatoes (I like purple potatoes, fingerlings, or any of the other small organic varieties)
½ lb Chinese long beans sliced at an angle in about ½” pieces (you can also use green or wax beans)
½ cup Japanese miso salad dressing (I used Red Shell brand which you can find in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods, or Berkeley Bowl --- I have even seen it at Safeway.)
3Tbl unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2Tbl toasted sesame seeds (I used both black and white ones because I had them and they look pretty)
1 green onion – green and white parts sliced thinly

Boil potatoes in a large pot in salted water (water should cover the potatoes by at least 1inch) until tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain in a large colander. Cut the potatoes into small, bite size wedges.

Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon or pair of tongs keeping the water in the pot. Use the potato water to cook the beans. Blanch the beans in the salted water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse the beans with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Cut the potatoes into small, bite size wedges.

Combine the Miso dressing, vinegar, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add warm potatoes and beans, mix to combine.

Garnish with green onion

Salad may be made up to 2 days ahead. Serve cold.

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