Smoked Paprika Potato Salad Recipe

Salade de Pomme de Terre au Paprika Fumé

[Smoked Paprika Potato Salad]

Although bread is without a doubt the carb I’d have the most trouble giving up, the potato is a close second. You can fry it mash it boil it roast it broil it stuff it, and be quite certain you’ll get my vote.

The preparations I most enjoy are sautéed potatoes, especially my mother’s (which, before you ask, don’t have any special ingredient other than her love and dexterity), and potato salads. I like a creamy potato salad as much as the next girl — I certainly ate more than my share at assorted barbecue parties in the US — but I have to say my preference goes to those that simply combine roasted wedges of potato with a well-balanced, olive-oil-based dressing that enhances the flavor of the potato, instead of just using it for texture and as a carrier of mayonnaise.

A good example of the kind I like can be found in the daily selection of that beloved lunch haunt of mine that has recently published a superb cookbook I can’t seem to shut up about. And as luck and Rose Carrarini would have it, the book includes a recipe for one of the potato salads in their rotation, a recipe called Potato Gribiche.

The classic sauce gribiche is a mayonnaise that is augmented by finely chopped hard-boiled eggs, cornichons (pickled gherkins), capers, and fresh herbs such as tarragon and parsley; it is a good accompaniment to fish, shellfish, and, most notably, tête de veau (veal head). I might note in passing that my efforts to locate some sort of explanation as to the origins of the name have only turned up the hypothesis that it comes from the old Normand word gribiche, defined as “a mean woman who scares children.” I love it.

Etymological notes aside, the dressing in Rose Bakery’s Potato Gribiche is in fact closer to a vinaigrette than to a mayonnaise, and this conveniently makes it lighter, more subtle, and easier on the forearms. New variations on that salad appear on their counter all the time and my favorite is the one that involves diced chorizo. But my kitchen was completely bereft of chorizo on the particular day I was inspired to try that recipe, so I reached for the closest substitute, smoked paprika, which I think can accurately be described as the phantom of chorizo.

And this is a fine potato salad, full of flavors and textural contrasts. It can be served either still a little warm or at room temperature, and is hence a very good picnic candidate for when the picnic days return. I advise you to eat it on the day you make it however, as what little I had left had turned impossibly mealy overnight.

Salade de Pomme de Terre au Paprika Fumé

500 grams (a little over a pound) new potatoes, peeled in alternating stripes
Olive oil
Salt, pepper
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
3 or 4 cornichons (pickled gherkins, about 35 grams/1 ounce), chopped
1 scant tablespoon capers
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon strong mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pimentón — I used the agridulce kind
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Serves 2 to 3 (the recipe can be doubled or tripled).

Blanch and roast the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Drain immediately, let cool for a minute, cut in two-bite wedges (wear kitchen gloves if your fingers are sensitive to heat), and transfer to a baking dish large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat, and roast until golden and crusty, about an hour.

In the meantime, prepare the dressing: combine in a salad bowl the egg, cornichons, capers, shallot, mustard, vinegar, pimentón, a bit of salt and pepper, and 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.

When the potatoes are ready, add them to the salad bowl, toss gently to coat, and fold in the parsley. Let cool to slightly warm or at room temperature. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

[Adapted from Rose Carrarini's Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Potato Gribiche, page 81.]

  • http://tschoerda.blogspot.com gerda [dinner for one]

    i must agree, potatos are my favorite carbs as well.

    the potato is a divine veggie, you can use it in a thousand ways and it always will taste amazing. i think i could survive on potatos only!

    that will come in handy if i’ll ever be too broke :)

  • http://www.glutenfreebythebay.com Gluten-Free By The Bay

    This looks amazing, and is the perfect use for all that smoked paprika I’ve been wondering what to do with!

  • Anne

    I too have succumbed to the Rose Carrarini cookbook – such a beautiful book with inspiring recipes and a lovely balanced approach to cooking and eating. I have never been to the bakery, but want to cook almost everything in the book! I tried the Fresh Ginger Cake and it was fantastic, really spicy.

    Anne, Adelaide, Australia

  • http://foodonthefood.typepad.com Tammy

    May the phantom of chorizo come haunt me in my dreams. Que rico!

  • http://www.cforcooking.com Jeff

    mmm…potatoes are a big fav. carb of mine :D

  • http://thaliemiel.canalblog.com Thalie

    Ah tiens, du paprika fumé !…
    Mercipour la découverte de cette épice apparemment bien particulière.

  • http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/ Pille

    Lovely recipe! I haven’t used my smoked paprika powder for a few months now, so it’s about time!!

  • http://80breakfasts.blogspot.com joey

    Sounds delicious! I too have a tin of “the phantom of chorizo” in my cupboard although I have never thought of using it in a potato salad…thanks for the recipe! :)

  • http://foodnut.blogspot.com nicola

    oh my potato salad. I can eat it any time, anywhere, any way. This sounds beautiful…must search the city for smoked paprika…off I go.
    Merci Clotilde…

  • Johnny Ruin

    Looks like another wonderful recipe. I wonder what’s the point of blanching the potatoes first?

  • Karen

    Aucun rapport avec la patate…
    Pour info week-end chocolat…hippodrome de Vincennes,le 13 et 14/01.On peut s’y croiser?

  • http://orangette.blogspot.com Molly

    What a lovely combination of flavors! I love the idea of the egg, cornichons, and smoked paprika all together, and with potatoes too. Plus, it gives me an excuse to finally dig that tin of smoked paprika out of the spice drawer again. Now I just need some picnic weather, and I’m all set…

  • http://thestonesoup.com jules

    thanks for putting me onto rose bakery…absolutely love their book

    great idea to use paprika in place of chorizo…a good vego option

    plenty of picnic weather here in Sydney so will get to try this out soon

  • http://hungryinhogtown.typepad.com/ rob

    Clotilde, smoked paprika is a wonderful spice, and I think potato salad plays to its strengths. My wife and I use it in one of our favourite soups, butternut squash and apple. There’s nothing quite like it on a cold winter evening.

  • http://www.elise.com/recipes Elise

    Clotilde, I first tried smoked paprika in a kumara (sweet potato) soup in New Zealand and was bowled over by the flavor. Unfortunately back here in the states I haven’t been able to find it anywhere! So aggravating. The warm potato salad with smoked paprika would be wonderful….

  • http://www.superfood.blog-city.com Richard Leader

    I also love the smoked paprika – and probably use it far too much… I love it sprinkled over parsnip soup or in a stew of lamb and chorizo.

    I think my favourite use is also with potatoes – patatas bravas (fried – or roasted – potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce strongly flavoured with the paprika)

  • Lisa

    Potatoes are my favorite single food, no question. I will try this. Any chance of getting your mom’s sauteed potato recipe? Is it just potatoes cut in small chunks, sauteed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper?

  • http://www.posiesplace.net Pamela

    Sounds simply divine, as I adore potatoes and smoked paprika!!

  • http://blue-kitchen.com Terry B

    Ohmigod, I want some of this right now! And what a welcome escape from mayonnaise dressings. There are many strong mustards out there, including those flavored with various herbs. Is there any one in particular that you prefer?

  • http://www.glutenfreebythebay.com Gluten-Free By The Bay

    Elise,
    I purchased mine online from the Great American Spice Company but I’ve also seen it in Bay Area gourmet markets.

  • http://www.nosaucethanks.com Paul

    Potato’s are definately one of my preferred carbs, along with rice, also up there for my fav vegetables, but i think that pumpkin and asparagus beat it.

  • Maryli

    In the states you can easily find Spanish Pimenton in NYC & Miami, key Spanish & Cuban immigrant centers. An excellent source of Spanish items on the web: http://www.tienda.com/food/spices.html

    I’m going to do this recipe today – yummy!

  • http://potsdishesplants.blogspot.com http://potsdishesplants.blogspot.com

    Yummy! I’ll have to try this one. It would look great plated in or on a piece of my pottery!

  • Chloe

    Elise – You can definitely get smoked paprika at Penzey’s Spices in the US. It migth be labeled as Spanish parika, I forget, but Penzey’s is where I ran to get some when I decided to make this great salad last Saturday. They also sell online.
    http://www.penzeys.com

    Merci Clothilde pour les belles recettes et le superbe carnet d’adresses gourmandes a Paris!!!

  • http://mammals.wordpress.com/ zack

    hot diggity that looks (and sounds) delicioso!
    great blog!

  • Salli

    I hate to admit it, but smoked paprika is also available in NY at Dean and Deluca.

  • http://www.mygrandmotherskitchen.blogspot.com/ msue

    Clotilde, I just made the smoked paprika potato salad – yum! I can’t wait to serve it tonight with our roast chicken. It really does bring to mind a wonderful picnic lunch on a sunny day. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. My only change was that I did not peel the potatoes.
    Roasted potatoes with the skin are my idea of heaven, so I couldn’t bring myself to peel them. It was still wonderful!

    Now I must find Rose Carrarini’s book – thanks for telling us about it.

  • Monique

    Hi Clotilde, just wanted to let you know I just made this salad and it’s delicious. I particularly like the idea of using hardboiled egg in a salad dressing; the yolk acts as a sort of emulsifier so you get a creamy dressing without the greasiness of mayonnaise. I added the smoked paprika (indispensable ingredient in my kitchen) to the potatoes as they were roasting to intensify its flavour, and added some actual chorizo as well – big fan :-)Great lunchbox salad!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m so pleased to hear that, Monique, thank you!

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