New Potato Salad with Fennel and Spring Peas

I used to have a little coffee shop a long time ago called the Gotham Coffee Shop, and this potato salad was one of our most popular items. With the warm vinaigrette, it’s almost like a German-style potato salad, plus a surprising crunch from the fennel. Recipe adapted from Taste and Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking, available on September 13, 2016 wherever books are sold.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes

12 cups cold water, divided

7 tablespoons Kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 cups fresh peas, preferably freshly shelled

Ice water

1/2 bulb fennel, fronds reserved

2 green onions, sliced

Mint and/or basil, a small handful of leaves

Vinaigrette

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper, 8 turns of a pepper mill

Directions

  1. For the potatoes and peas: Add 6 cups water, 3 tablespoons of salt, and potatoes to a heavy-bottomed pot. Turn heat to high, partially cover, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, blanch peas: Bring 6 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Prepare an ice bath with 1 tablespoon of salt. Add peas to the boiling water and cook until the water comes up to a boil again, 2–3 minutes. Taste to verify that the peas are fully cooked; then strain, place peas into the salted ice bath to halt cooking, and set aside. Check potatoes periodically by piercing the largest one with a fork. They are done when the fork goes all the way through with no resistance. Turn off the heat and let the potatoes sit in their water, 4-5 minutes longer. While potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients (Step 2).
  2. Vinaigrette: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer to dissolve and incorporate all of the ingredients. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the fennel by removing the fronds (reserving them for later use) and use a mandoline to slice into thin strips. Add the sliced fennel to a bowl, along with the green onions and warm vinaigrette. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Assembly: Drain the peas and fully cooked potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half and add directly to the fennel while they are still warm; toss so the vinaigrette is absorbed into the potatoes. Roughly chop the fennel fronds (about ¼ cup), and cut the mint and basil into a rough chiffonade (about ¼ cup total); add to the salad. At the last minute, to avoid discoloration, add the peas. Toss again and serve.
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