Truffle Potato Salad

6 Feb

For a Party!Recently, I cooked for my dearest friend Jobby’s baby shower. I wanted to create dishes that would be easy to eat, tasty and also a little decadent to mark the celebration. When AngelKitten and I were talking about the menu, potato salad popped up into the radar, and we put it on the list as a may be. But then, a few weeks later, I found that I was in possession of a divine truffle. And I suddenly thought of that potato salad again.

I knew I was going to be feeding at least 50 – 60 people, so a singular truffle on its own was not going to do much. But add it to the mix of a potato salad (and add some truffle oil to enhance and intensify), and you get something very familiar with a wonderfully luxurious edge to it. The inimitable scent of truffle permeates this entire dish, teasing and seductive. Its lush, and gorgeous, and a wonderful way to celebrate your love for your friends.

If you dont have a truffle (and yes, I know theyre expensive!) use truffle oil in place of the olive oil as well. If you can, prepare early and make home made aioli, which is very very delicious. However, given that I was making the salad for a baby shower (and pregnant women should not eat raw eggs), I decided to use best quality prepared mayonnaise. This potato salad can be made the evening before serving, and refrigerated. And of course, this makes a lot of potato salad! You can easily feed 30 people with this salad as a side dish – and depending on how many other dishes there are, you could feed many many more. Do feel free to halve this recipe if youre not cooking for hordes!

Serves approximately 30 + people

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 truffle
  • 2 kg waxy potatoes (I used Australian chat potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup truffle oil
  • 4 – 6 tbsp very good, very old balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs
  • 2 – 3 tbsp mustard seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 – 6 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 – 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup aioli or mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (basil, parsley, thyme) – optional

Before you start cooking, ensure that the truffle really infuses into the oil. Place the oilive oil into a small bowl. Grate (I used a Microplane lemon zester) the truffle directly into olive oil and stir well. Set aside while you prepare the potatoes.

Fill a large stock pot or saucepan with water, and a pinch of salt. Place on stovetop, on medium high heat, and allow to come to the boil.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water, and begin to prepare the potatoes. Use only waxy potatoes for a potato salad, as they hold themselves together well. Starchy potatoes will just fall apart. Wash the potatoes under running water, and chop into large chunks. I keep the skins on because I love the flavour and extra texture, but if you really want to peel, go right ahead! Place prepped potatoes in the cold water as you work.

Once all the potatoes are ready, drain well, and place all the potatoes in to the boiling water. Stir well, and allow to simmer until done. This can take upwards of 30 minutes (though its usually more like 20). Taste test every 10 minutes or so just to make sure.

While you are waiting for the potatoes to be done, prepare the vinaigrette that will receive the potatoes. Wipe the large bowl you used earlier down, and pour in the reserved olive oil and truffle oil. Make sure you get every last bit of truffle, and have a whiff of that amazing scent! Whisk in the truffle oil and old balsamic vinegar. The mixture will probably (especially if you use high quality ingredients) emulsify in such a way that it becomes almost gel-like. Whisk in the herbs and mustard seeds and a a good pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, cream and mayonnaise. Taste and adjust seasonings if you like. Set aside.

Once the potatoes are done to your liking, drain well, and immediately toss in the set aside vinaigrette. Mix extremely well. The heat of the potatoes will ensure that the vinaigrette is soaked up well, and incorporated into the flesh of the potatoes. Taste, and add the reserved mayonnaise mix. Stir again and adjust for salt and pepper (or in fact any other ingredient that you feel needs a little additional boost).

Let the salad cool to room temperature, and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Just before serving, mix in about half a cup of freshly chopped herbs if you desire.

Enjoy!

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