I love a good, chilled potato salad in summer, whether it’s with burgers from the grill, a fried chicken picnic, or just a spread of cold salads. And I generally lean toward the chunky potatoes with a creamy dressing and interesting add ins variety, like my Mom’s Dilled Potato Salad, or Mustard Bacon Potato Salad. But I ran across a recipe in a book or a magazine for potatoes lightly pickled then served with a rather fancy warm sauce. I have long lost the original recipe, but the idea of pickled potatoes with an herbal hint, chilled in the fridge stuck with me, so I cobbled together this simple version.
I think this is a really interesting change up to a potato salad – it isn’t really a salad at all, just potatoes served cold. It works in all the ways you serve a standard potato salad, but light and fresh with a sweet-tart-tangy finish that makes a perfect accompaniment to rich burgers or sausages from the grill, or even a roast. I think you could try other herbs as well, like thyme or sage, and maybe through a bay leaf in the mix. I find these lovely little pebble sized yellow potatoes readily at the grocery, just buy the smallest potatoes you can find. If yours are not quite so small, add a few minutes to the boiling time and the sitting in hot water time.
- 2 pounds very small potatoes
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 – 7 stalks of rosemary
- kosher salt
- Place the potatoes in one layer (or as close as you can get) in a large deep skillet and cover with water by about 1/2 inch. Add several generous pinches kosher salt and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes, then remove from the heat and cover the pan. Leave the potatoes to sit in the water for 15 – 20 minutes while you make the brine.
- Combine the vinegar, 2 cups water and the sugar in a large saucepan that will fit the potatoes and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then drop in the rosemary. Cover the pan and set aside.
- Test the potatoes by inserting a sharp knife into one of the larger ones. It should slide about half way with no resistance. Quickly cover the pan and leave for a few more minutes if necessary. Drain the potatoes and rinse with cool water until cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes in half, and drop them into the still warm brine. Stir to cover the potatoes and leave to sit at room temperature for at least two hours. You can then refrigerate the potatoes overnight. Drain completely and pick out the rosemary stalks and any stray needles. The drained potatoes will hold in the fridge for several more hours.
- Serve chilled.