New potato and artichoke heart salad - potatoes and politics


New potato and artichoke salad with dijon mayonnaiseThis is an interesting little potato salad recipe. There are lots of different ways to make a delicious one. I like a simple warm new potato salad with just some dressing, spring onion and a sprinkling of dill and feta. This one's a bit more complicated as potato salads go. So not that complicated. But I had never thought of putting artichoke hearts in a potato salad until my blinkered eyes were opened by this blog post.

I love potatoes, that’s no secret. I even sang a potato song in the Finnish Liberal People’s Party Christmas do when I was about 5. My father the Liberal is nowadays more of a corservative stickler of dinosaurian proportions than a beacon of progress or a radical reformist, but his liberalism must be seen against the backdrop of 1970s Cold War as an enlightened man's fight against the Finlandization of the Finnish govenment marionetted by the Soviets. (Apologies for the unsolicited political tirade in the middle of an innocent potato post.) He was briefly active in local politics and as a dutiful politician’s daughter and a budding anti-Soviet campaigner I threw my talents onto the altar of freedom. The song went like this (sorry about the lack of rhyming in the translation, I just thought it might be a bit of a waste of effort as it's never going to be Shakespeare exactly, rhymes or no rhymes):

Potatoes are round
Potatoes are oval
Potatoes are the right and proper food.
When you put the potato in your mouth
It starts its long journey
Belly is the best place for it, innit?
Eating potatoes
Will grow our strengh
The little potato will help us grow big!
Hip hip hurrah, potato!

There was also a spellbinding hand choreography to go with it – you can check it here. (I did it a lot more athletically and precisely than this clueless bunch of potatoes. Although even I can see they are quite cute in their weird potato hats. I was also cute, no weird hat though, but a purple two-piece trouser suite!)

That was the height of my career both in politics and as a solo singer. I did go on to study classical singing and a less root veg related song repertoire in my teens for a few years until the teacher told me that my vocal cords would need surgical intervention. Encouraging.

New potato and artichoke heart salad

New potato and artichoke salad (serves 4 as a side)

I had a bit of a mustard disaster but at least got rid of any unnessessary nasal hair. Note to anyone who has run out of Dijon mustard and wants to substitute: English mustard IS a lot hotter than Dijon. After some dilution action all was fine in the end.

500g new potatoes
Bunch of spring onion (original recipe says pickled onions)
Jar of marinated artichoke hearts in oil
20 green or black olives
Handful of capers (optional, but will add a nice zing particularly if not using pickled onions)
1/3 - 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
2 tbsp crème fraiche (optional)
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Generous handful of chopped fresh parsley and fresh chives

Wash the potatoes and cook them in boiling salted water until they are just done. Use new potatoes with very thin skin, so there is no need to peel them.

While potatoes are cooking chop the spring onions and drain and chop the artichokes. You can also halve or slice the olives.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, mustard, herbs and seasoning. Check the taste and adjust. I also added a couple of spoons of crème fraiche because I made the salad ahead and new that the potatoes would soak some of the dressing.

When the potatoes are done (fork goes in easily, but they are not breaking yet) cut them into whatever size you like and mix everything together. You can serve immediately while the potatoes are still warm or let it sit for a few hours in the fridge and serve cold.

You Might Also Like