When you need to reduce the amount of salt in a dish, what do you do to make sure that the flavors don’t fall flat? You add things that are rich and flavor and aroma so that you don’t miss the salt at all. In an earlier version of this pearl potato salad / side dish, I made the dressing with butter, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pepper, thyme, parsley, salt and lemon juice.
In this version, I substituted tarragon for the thyme, used more olive oil than butter and added more pepper. I also added the juice and zest of half an orange and half a lemon. Amazing how citrus zest can make a dish even more appetizing.
Start by boiling the potatoes in salted water. As soon as they are done, drain and transfer to a mixing bowl and add toss with the butter and olive oil.
If eating raw garlic scares you, you can roast the garlic cloves before peeling them. A minute or so in an oil-free pan should do the trick.
Add the garlic, herbs and zests to the potatoes then squeeze the juices directly over them.
Toss and let the potatoes sit and absorb the flavors.
- 500 grams pearl potatoes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- juice of half an orange
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- freshly ground pepper
Rinse and scrub the potatoes. If they are rather large, cut into halves.
Dump the potatoes into a pan and cover with water. Add salt. Depending on the amount of water, you’ll need about a tablespoonful or more of salt. You’re not going to get all that salt into your body. Much of it will get thrown out with the water. You want to allow the potatoes to absorb salt from the start to flavor them properly so that you won’t be tempted to keep adding more salt later.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer just until a knife runs through the thickest part of the potato without resistance. If you salt the water correctly, you will not need to add more salt later.
Drain the potatoes, dump into a mixing bowl and, while still very hot, add the butter and 3 tbsps. of olive oil. Toss well.
Add the grated garlic. Add the zests and herbs as well. Toss to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
Squeeze in the orange and lemon juices. Sprinkle with pepper. Toss again.
Cover the bowl loosely and let the potatoes sit in the dressing for at least 30 minutes to give them time to soak up all the flavors. If, after 30 minutes, the mixture appears dry, pour in more olive oil and toss.
Just before serving, taste a piece of potato and if it is really bland, then you might want to add a little salt. Or, alternatively, add more orange and lemon juice, and pepper.