dilled potato and pickled cucumber salad

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Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad
Bon Appetit, August 2004

Because we bought all the ingredients at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday in the two-point-five minutes we were there before the sky opened and sent even the farmers indoors, things are a little goofily out of proportion–the radishes like apples, the potatoes like fingers, etc.–but if you ask me, it only made it tastier. Just don’t be concerned if yours looks a lot different.

Finally, I think the trick with this and almost all mayo-based salads is to assemble them only a couple hours before you want to eat it. It helps the ingredients hang onto their unique textures and flavors, and keeps the fresh ones–radishes and briny cucumbers–from making puddles in the dressing.

6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 1-pound English hothouse cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 10 medium), unpeeled
Additional coarse kosher salt
1 cup very thinly sliced white onion
8 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
scant 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I get by with a bit less)
Small radishes with green tops

Stir vinegar and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small bowl until salt dissolves. Place cucumbers and 1/2 cup dill in heavy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add vinegar mixture; seal bag. Turn several times to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Pour cucumber mixture into large sieve set over bowl. Drain at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Discard brine.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes completely. Peel potatoes; quarter lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in large bowl; sprinkle generously with coarse salt and pepper. Add drained cucumbers, onion, sliced radishes, and remaining 3 tablespoons dill; toss to blend. Let stand 1 hour. Stir mayonnaise into salad. Season generously with salt and pepper, if desired. (Salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Mound salad in bowl; garnish with whole radishes. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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