June 8, 2010

Spring Potato Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Tarragon Lemon Vinaigrette


This potato salad is ideal for BBQ’s and picnics because it is dressed with a vinaigrette and free of mayonnaise.  Seasoned with tarragon and lemon, it is the perfect base for skewers of grilled shrimp or steak. 


Dressing -

1/3 C. good olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs. lemon zest (from one large lemon or two small)

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice (from the same lemon(s) you used for the zest)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. fresh tarragon, finely chopped

2 Tbs. sweet hot mustard

1 Tbs. honey

Salad -

4 C. small red potatoes, quartered or cut into bite size pieces (about 2 pounds)

1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 C. water

1 large bunch asparagus

1 pound fresh green beans

1 large red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Heat grill to medium-high.

Place potatoes in a large, microwave safe bowl.  Add 1 tsp. salt and water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until potatoes are just starting to soften but don’t fall apart when pressed with the back of a spoon, 12-15 minutes.  Drain water from potatoes and return to bowl.


Place all dressing ingredients in a sealable, plastic container or a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Make sure the lid is sealed and shake until the dressing is combined.  It’s best to keep one hand on the lid, just in case.  Trust me, a little bit of dressing can fly an amazing distance. 

DSC04347 saladzest

It should look something like this


Trim the ends from the green beans and cut them into 1” pieces.  Trim the tough ends from the bottoms of the asparagus and cut into 1” pieces.  Slice the pepper length wise into thin strips.  Cut the strips in half. 

saladbeans DSC04368

Add the vegetables to the bowl with the potatoes.  Gently mix in remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, garlic, oil and pepper. 

Make a foil “basket” by layering two large sheets of foil and folding the sides up a couple of inches.  Pour vegetables into the middle of the foil. Fold the sides of the foil over and then the ends to enclose the veggies.  Poke holes with a knife to vent steam. 

saladfoil1 saladfoil3

Place vegetables on the grill and close the lid.  After 5 minutes, carefully open the packet and close the lid again.  Cook vegetables until they are tender-crisp, 5-7 minutes. 

Transfer vegetables to a large bowl (save a dish and use the same bowl you cooked the potatoes in) and, while still warm, gently fold in dressing. Adjust salt if needed.


This salad can be served warm, straight from the grill but it’s best after it has chilled in the fridge over night.  The potatoes soak up the dressing and the flavor of the peppers and tarragon have a chance to fully develop.

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