Picnic season has finally arrived in Chicago (it feels like summer) and so Sabasalads has been experimenting with various sides and sundries designed for eating outdoors. A trip outside the city limits to Ravinia gave us the opportunity to try a new recipe for the most quintessential picnic food out there- potato salad.
This recipe is a modified version of one by Jamie Oliver, and it calls for a dressing of crème fraîche, olive oil and lemon juice instead of mayonnaise. This results in a lighter tasting but tarter version than the potato salads we’re used to. The result was good, but we missed the taste of mayonnaise. In order to make up for it, we suggest adding a hard-boiled egg to the dressing for that yolky richness. Oliver’s recipe also calls for purple potatoes. You can use a variety like the Russian Blues available at Green City Market, or you can just use new potatoes (as we did) if these aren’t available. As for the herbs, use whatever fresh ones you’ve got on hand, but this is best with savory herbs like dill, chives and thyme. The best part of this recipe is the addition of radishes and daikon, which give it a great crunchy texture.
This is excellent with fried chicken and cold, full-bodied white wine (e.g. Vouvray, Alsace- or Austrian-style Rieslings, or Chardonnays)
1 lb small colorful potatoes (e.g. Russian Blue or new potatoes)
8 oz crème fraîche
2 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 hard-boiled egg
1 bunch radishes
1 daikon (you could also use carrots)
2-3 handfulls of fresh savory herbs (dill, thyme, chives, marjoram, parsley)
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes in salty water until cooked through but still firm. They’re done when you can stick a knife through one easily. When the potatoes are done, strain them and let them cool.
Meanwhile, dice the radishes and daikon into small slivers and chop your herbs finely.
When the potatoes are cool, combine the dry ingredients. At this point, make sure to add plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare the dressing, chop up the egg and whisk it into the crème fraîche along with the olive oil and lemon until the mixture is consistent. Fold this into the salad to ensure that the whole thing is coated evenly and adjust salt and pepper as necessary.