Here’s a nice twist when you’re looking for a room-temperature potato dish: Instead of an old-school, mayonnaise-y potato salad, make this Marbled Potato Salad with Arugula Pesto. Make everything ahead, then dress it and serve. Admittedly, there are a few components, especially if you inlcude the Deviled Eggs, but if you have a few hours the day before — or even an hour or so for a couple nights during the week before — it’s easy enough to pull together, and impressive enough to be worth the effort. On our Easter supper, it was a big hit.
Marbled Potato Salad with Arugula Pesto
From “The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm” (Clarkson Potter) by Sam Beall. I’ve noted our adaptation.
10 ounces very small purple Peruvian potatoes (about 20)
10 ounces very small yellow creamer potatoes (about 20)
10 ounces very small red bliss potatoes (about 20)
9 cloves garlic, crushed lightly with the side of a knife
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 (3-inch) rosemary sprigs
9 (3-inch) thyme springs
1 cup lighly packed baby arugula, for serving
1 cup pickled red onions, drained, for serving
To make the potatoes, heat oven to 375. Place potatoes, garlic, oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet (or several). Use your hands to toss and coat the potaoes in oil and seasonl them with salt and pepper. Tuck the rosemary and thyme in among the potatoes. Cover and roast until potatoes are tender when piereced with a knife, about 1 hour. Uncover the pan and let them potatoes cool to room temperatures. Discard the thyme and rosemary.
Alternatively: parboil the potatoes by cooking them about 10 minutes at a roiling boil, then let them cool to room tempereature. Refrigerate up to 2 days. Before serving the salad, toss the potatoes on a sheet pan with olive oil, thyme and rosemary, then warm them about 15 minutes in a 200 degree oven. After that, they can sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.
To serve the salad, toss the potatoes together on a large serving platter. Tuck a little arugula among them potatoes and scatter the Pickled Red Onions over the top.
Spoon the pesto over the potatoes, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve the Deviled Eggs alongside. Or don’t!