Fingerling Potato Salad with Pesto Crème Fraîche

There are two ways to say ‘potato’ but oh-so-many ways of making potato salad. There’s what I call ‘classic’ potato salad; the kind that shows up at family picnics and potlucks, laden with mayonnaise and not much else. It walks the edge of ‘food safety’ once left out on the picnic table for hours at a time so it’s always best to eat it right when it arrives. You might find the odd chunk of celery or carrot, though the only necessary additions (in my humble opinion) are boiled eggs and green onions. For those that eschew the classics in favour of a ‘safer’ salad, the neo classic vinegar based potato salad is a popular option. Fry up some bacon rashers, caramelize some onions and for the best flavour, let this salad sit in the dressing over night. It’s always better the next day.

Then, there are what I call the ‘odd ball’ potato salads. These are the kind that you don’t see that often at picnics, even though change is good (and most often welcome). We enjoyed a warm potato salad recently that was unlike any I had ever had. The tiny potatoes were roasted in the oven, then coated in mayo and cheese. It was not the sort of dish that I would make again, but it was comforting and tummy filling and I have to give our host points for trying something new. If you do a quick search for ‘potato salad’ on pinterest, it seems there’s always a new way to invent potato salad, whether it’s with warm spices from the Middle East, a bacon ranch loaded potato salad, or a dill pickle lover’s potato salad. As a fan of the tuberous starch, I’m game to try them all, but first I want to create my own version of the perfect potato salad.potatosalad2Once I received my bags of Earth Fresh fingerling potatoes (thanks Earth Fresh!), I thought about what would make my ultimate potato salad. I already had a batch of crème fraîche in the fridge so I knew I would be using it instead of mayonnaise or sour cream as a base for the dressing. Then I bought a bunch of fresh basil that I made into a pesto. The combination of the two, with some spring onions and slices of fresh green bean for colour was quite delicious. I learned a new trick too…if you boil the potatoes with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar, the potatoes get a nice sour flavour that gives another layer of flavour the final salad.potatosalad

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Fingerling Potato Salad with Pesto Crème Fraîche

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A fraîche way to eat potato salad. Includes directions to make PESTO and crème fraîche.
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:12 mins
  • Serves:6

Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 1 680 g (1.5lb) bag EarthFresh Fingerling Gourmet Potatoes
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of fresh green beans
  • 2 green onions; sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano; finely shredded
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic; roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche*
Method
  1. Wash the potatoes and slice the larger ones lengthwise. Place in a medium sized pot, add apple cider vinegar, and water until the potatoes are covered. Salt the water and boil until the potatoes are slightly under fork tender. Cool until the potatoes are room temperature.
  2. Blanche the green beans in boiling water for two minutes. Remove and immediately plunge into ice cold water so they keep their vibrant green colour. Slice them into smaller sized pieces.
  3. Make the Pesto- Place pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, Parmesan, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and garlic into a small food processor. Pulse until ingredients begin to come together then drizzle in olive oil with the motor running. You will only need a heaping tablespoon of pesto for the salad, so scrape out the rest into a jar for later use.
  4. Place potatoes, green beans, and pesto in a large bowl. Cover and shake so that the pesto is evenly distributed around the potatoes. Add the crème fraîche and give it another good shake. Alternatively, you could just shake the potatoes with the pesto, then drizzle the crème fraîche over top.
  5. Plate the salad then scatter the green onions over top.
*crème fraîche - can be bought or home made. It's surprisingly easy to make and very versatile, all it takes is a bit of time. To make it, shake 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk vigorously in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature  (about 21°C or 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Refrigerate up to 10 days.

potatosalad1

Like I said, there are so many ways to make a great potato salad. I’d love to hear your favourite way to enjoy this summer classic salad.

19 comments

  1. Markus Mueller

    I really like the addition of the green beans to the potato salad! I imagine it adds a great crunch and burst of sweetness! Looking forward to trying this recipe!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      I always like to add something ‘green’ to my potato salad! In this case we had gorgeous fresh beans. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. sugarlovespices

    Great recipe Bernice! I am getting used to the different potato salads here in Canada, in my mother in law’s one there are always eggs and green onions (and tons of mayonnaise). I am not fond of mayo, so I am intrigued by your use of crème fraiche, The addition of basil pesto and green beans is very appealing, I’d so love to have some 🙂 !

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Yep, that’s the classic potato salad right there. and there’s nothing wrong with it but sometimes it’s fun to change it up a little bit. I’m guessing mayo isn’t big in Italy! Also, a friend of mine told me that Italians don’t like corn…they think of it more as pig feed! Is this right?

      1. sugarlovespices

        For sure mayo isn’t in every fridge as I’ve seen it here 🙂 . It’s used in few dishes, but not many, so bought sporadically. And corn (italian main chicken feed, maybe also pig, I don’t know) is not as popular as here. 😉

  3. MeaghanC

    Now this is my kind of potato salad! So beautiful 🙂

    1. dishnthekitchen

      awww, thank you Meaghan!

  4. Lillian Tse

    A simple, yet delicious dish! I love potatoes and I love pesto, so I’m sure this will be a great dish to add to our round of summery dishes.

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Thank you Lillian! How’s your summer going?

  5. Mairead

    Love the addition of pesto to brighten up potato salad! Can’t wait to try this!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      It’s a pretty versatile ‘condiment’. I bet it would be good on a warm potato salad too.

  6. Koko Brill

    I love fingerling potatoes! This dish just looks so fresh and perfect for summer!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      There’s something so oddly captivating about them..the name? 😉

  7. Lenny

    Lately I have been enamoured with fingerling potatoes and fresh peas with Thai peanut vinaigrette. I am going to try green beans. That is marvelous idea.

  8. chef mimi

    Brilliant, just brilliant! I’ve used cream, but creme fraiche sounds so much, well, fresher!!!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Yes…and I couldn’t believe how easy it is to make. Now I’m always going to keep some in the fridge. We’ve discovered it’s wonderful over fresh peaches on waffles!

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