How can it be July? Summer always goes by way too fast, but one of the best things about having a garden is that it helps me to savor every stage of this fleeting season. First we had an abundance of arugula, spinach, lettuce, kale and chard. Now the greens have given way to a wild tangle of snow peas, with squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes slowly starting to show their pretty little cheeks. The snow peas have been especially generous this year, and Ella likes to stand in the garden in her socks (yes, socks—the girl wears her socks in 80 degree heat) picking and eating the pods. We’ve been eating plenty out-of-hand, but also tossed in salads, pasta and stir-fries. This potato salad is especially fitting for the season, and would be a great accompaniment to a Fourth of July barbeque or picnic. It’s a lovely diversion from the traditional potato salad, with a lighter, crispier edge that pairs perfectly with meats off the grill. Instead of using mayonnaise as the base, the zippy dressing is bound with brown mustard, with a bit of hazelnut oil to add subtle nuttiness (but if you don’t have hazelnut oil, don’t fear—just substitute some more olive oil). Hazelnuts go in at the end for crunch and flavor, although toasted walnuts are fabulous as well. And to brighten things up, the salad is finished with some fresh mint.
Wishing you a delicious July Fourth!
Potato and Snow Pea Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 large garlic clove , grated on microplane
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (optional; if you don’t have hazelnut oil you can substitute olive oil)
- 1 ½ pounds small red potatoes , halved then cut into 8 wedges
- ½ pound (8 ounces) snow peas, stringed
- ½ small red onion , finely diced (½ cup diced) and rinsed in cold water
- 1/3 cup toasted and shelled hazelnuts , coarsely chopped (you can substitute walnuts, which are also delicious)
- ¼ cup packed mint leaves , coarsely chopped
- In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, mustard, thyme and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Whisk in the olive oil and hazelnut oil.
- Steam the potatoes until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the dressing over the hot potatoes; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Steam the snow peas until crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking (this will also preserve the color). Pat dry. Do Ahead: The salad can be made up to this point up to 2 hours in advance. Cover the potatoes and refrigerate. Store the snow peas separately in a ziptop bag or airtight container in the fridge.
- Once the potatoes are cool, add the snow peas, red onion and hazelnuts. Pour 3 more tablespoons of dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Fold in the mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let sit 10 minutes. Taste and add additional dressing if needed before serving (I usually add another tablespoon or two at this point—if you have leftover dressing, scrape it into a jar and save it for a salad later in the week). Enjoy!