Today I was all set up to make a parsnip soup. I went to our local organic food store – and they did not have any parsnips. My disappointment dissolved quickly, however, when I spotted the sign “purple truffle potatoes”.
I have grown purple (and black) potatoes at the allotment many years ago, and they were delicious but the yield was rather small and the potatoes for planting difficult to obtain. But I have never seen them for sale in the Netherlands before.
With special ingredients like this it is important to withstand the temptation to “dress them up” too much, and I definitely did not want to disguise the spectacular colour and the earthy taste of these potatoes. What you don’t do in such a case, is just as important as what you do do (is this a weird sentence?). So I made a potato salad, but did not smother the potatoes in mayonnaise, did not add any carrots or celeriac and did not combine the potatoes with eggs or herring or whatever.
I dressed them with a simple lemony vinaigrette and I let the purple beauties shine. This salad is almost in every way the opposite of my mother’s potato salad, and it is just as appropriate to January, as hers is in December.
Purple potatoes salad with lemony vinaigrette
1 kg purple potatoes (you can use other waxy potatoes of course)
3 spring onions
the juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Finely slice the white part of the spring onions and put them in a small bowl. Add the juice of half of the lemon, mix and let marinate. Scrub the potatoes and cook them in salted water until fork tender (mine took about 15 min). Drain and let cool slightly.
Cut the potatoes in slices about 1cm thick. Put them in a bowl, add the olive oil and lemon juice to taste and toss gently. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper, then add the marinated onions. Arrange the salad on a large platter and sprinkle with finely chopped green parts of the onions.