Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mustard Jar Redemption

I’m really sorry I didn’t take the picture earlier. This is all that was left by the time I got back to the kitchen from grilling the brats. The other diners were merciless; they took no prisoners.

At least they didn’t take the last spoonful of potato salad, too. Even if they had, I would be too busy being proud of my recipe to get upset. I like this one for two reasons:

  1. It is fresh, simple, and immediate. There are only a handful of ingredients, but the vegetables can be locally grown and soon they’ll all be in season together.
  2. The dressing is a great way to finish off a jar of mustard.
No, really. You know when there is only a little bit of mustard at the bottom of the jar or bottle? You can go in there with a knife and scrape all day. The jar will ring like a bell but you will not get enough mustard to season a sandwich. You can shake the bottle for twenty minutes but all you can get out of it are rude noises. But since there’s still a bunch of mustard stuck to the sides of the container, you stick it back in the fridge. “Stupid mustard,” you think to yourself. “I wish I had the cunning to use you up or the courage to throw you out.”

Well this salad dressing will take care of it for you! There’s probably just the right amount of mustard left in the jar. Take off the lid, put in the rest of the dressing ingredients, and shake. You will get a delicious salad dressing. You will clean up the container so it is fit to go in with the recycling. And you will have used up the last of that mustard. Aaah, closure!

Potato Salad with Dijon Dressing
Serves 6 to 8.

1 ½ lb potatoes (new red potatoes are great), scrubbed and cut in chunks
½ lb asparagus or green beans, snapped into 1” pieces
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1/3 c olive oil
3 T dill leaves, coarsely chopped
1 T capers

Boil the potatoes until just tender, about 20-25 minutes. In the last few minutes of cooking, throw the asparagus or green beans into the pot.
Drain the vegetables and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Chill.

Shake the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and oil until combined.

Close to serving time, toss the vegetables with the dill, the capers, and the dressing. If you leave the salad sitting in its dressing, the potatoes will absorb much of the liquid. Who knows; maybe you like that sort of thing.

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