The Goddess is experimenting, yet again. Potato Salad is one of her favorites and one of her favorites to “mess” with. When the bag of sun-dried tomatoes dropped out of the cupboard and the prosciutto package slid out of the fridge…well, you don’t need to be hit by a Vaporetto to see the signs! There are times when I try things, and I just know they’re going to be good. Then there are those other times. But, one should overcome one’s apprehensions and forge onward. That’s sort of what happened here. And ‘Surprise!!’ This worked well. I got the flavors I was hoping for. The only drawback was that I didn’t have any white balsamic or white wine vinegar in the pantry. How do these things happen? But, what this lacks in visual loveliness, it more than makes up for in flavor. I boiled the eggs with the potatoes, and it worked surprisingly well. I used jumbo eggs, because that’s what I had. At room temperature, they took eight minutes from the point the water began to boil. I then, pulled the eggs out, ran cold water over them and whacked them up until they were cracked all over, then into cold water until the potatoes finished. It took the potatoes about 16-18 minutes total. And that will depend on how large the pieces are.
I wait until the potatoes cool to just warm, before I try to cut them up; they can become “gummy” if you cut them when they are too warm. This goes together relatively quickly. I was going to do a mayo-based dressing, then I changed my mind and decided to use the vinegar/oil option…like Italian dressing, which frankly, I think you could use in a pinch. If you are a parsley fan, (I’m not) then add a nice handful of chopped parsley to the bowl. You could also add some chopped fresh basil, instead of the dry basil and Italian seasoning blend I use. But, do use some fresh garlic, please. As you can see, I add the sliced eggs at the very end, after I’ve given the salad a good stir. I want them to remain in larger pieces and not get mashed up. I plopped the salad on some lettuce, but decided to give the salad a good sprinkle of toasted walnuts and freshly grated parmesan cheese. I’m glad I did. The walnuts are a must-add.
Roman Potato Salad with Prosciutto, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs
The toasted walnuts reinforced the nutty flavor of the prosciutto and Parmesan. Please do not omit them.
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half cross-wise (do not use red-skinned)
- 2 jumbo or 3 large eggs
- Water to cover
- 4 scallions, chopped (include at least one inch of the green part)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 3/4 cup diced celery (or half fresh fennel is great)
- 3-4 thin slices prosciutto, diced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning blend
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- Kosher salt (at least 1 teaspoon, but it will probably need more)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped or crushed toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
Dice the sun-dried tomatoes and place in a bowl. Cover with warmed water; set aside for at least 15 minutes. Place the potatoes and eggs in cold water just to cover. Bring to the boil; begin timing the eggs—7 minutes for large, 8 minutes for jumbo. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs. Run cold water over them. Using a spoon, whack them until they are cracked all over. Drop into a bowl of cold water to cool for at least 8 minutes. When the potatoes are just tender (test by piercing with a knife point), about 16 minutes (the time will depend on the size of the pieces), remove from the water using a slotted spoon. Let stand until almost cool, about 8 minutes. Place the diced scallions, celery, prosciutto, herbs, garlic, and Dijon mustard into a medium-sized bowl; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and toss. Remove the tomatoes from their water, add them to the bowl, reserving the water. When the potatoes are cool, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or slightly smaller) and sprinkle generously with kosher salt; add to the bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss until combined. If the mixture seems on the dry side, add some of the reserved tomato-soaking water, a tablespoon at a time (I used about 5 tablespoons). Peel and slice the eggs; add to the bowl, along with the toasted walnuts. Toss until thoroughly combined. Let stand for at least 20-30 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve on a bed of lettuce, sprinkled generously with Parmesan and wedges of fresh tomato on the side.
NOTE: Feel free to add pitted black olives and some diced anchovies, if you wish. You may use regular balsamic, but white balsamic is visually more pleasing. Add some chopped fresh parsley and/or basil, if you wish.
Roman Potato Salad with Prosciutto, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Garlic and Herbs Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.