Charcuterie-style potato salad features “new” potatoes with cold cuts and no mayo. It’s perfect picnic fare, outside in warm weather, indoors by the fire when it’s cold.
The original dish as we served it at my Pig-by-the-Tail deli featured house-made pickled beef tongue, a delight of “old-fashioned” butcher shops and delis that kept pickling barrels where legs of pork were turned into ham, pigs’ trotters were cured into pickled pigs’ feet, and beef tongues were seasoned to delicate, pink sweetness for slicing into salads. Today, I use other, more readily available charcuterie meats for this salad, a mix of two or three is nice. The photo shows a variation with country paté and soppressata Calabrese salami. And, because it’s late spring/almost summer, I included fresh English peas. When they’re not in season, I opt for coarsely chopped cornichons rather than frozen peas.
Serves 6 to 8
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, any color, not peeled but scrubbed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3/4 cup shelled English peas (optional, in season), or 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cornichons
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 pound country-style pate, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
1. Place the potatoes in a medium-size saucepan and add water to coverand a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender but still holding their shape, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the slices. Drain in a colander and set aside to drip dry momentarily.
2. If you have fresh peas, bring a small pot of water to boil over high heat. Drop in the peas and blanch them for 30 seconds. Drain in a colander, rinse to cool under cold water from the faucet, and set aside to drip dry momentarily.
3. Combine the potatoes and peas or cornichons in a large bowl. Add the onion, thyme, parsley, and paté and toss gently to mix without breaking up the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the salad and mix gently.
5. Arrange the soppressata slices around the edges of a platter. Place the potato salad in the center and serve.