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by on September 15th, 2009

Potato and Arugula Salad

I do declare! This is one of the best and simplest salads I have ever made.

As I have said before, I love arugula. Never thought of putting it in potato salad before but, believe me, this works.

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I think I could live on potatoes. We probably eat potatoes about twice a month now that all my kids have moved on and left the nest. Seems like all three of our kids were pretty picky eaters when they were growing up. They would eat meat, potatoes, “box” mac and cheese, hardly anything green but fried okra and green beans.  They have since outgrown that and have now developed an appetite for good food, good wine and a love for cooking and trying different things.

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Who would know that these boiled little potatoes could turn into a fantastic, peppery salad.

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If you have never tried arugula, run, don’t walk to your nearest market and buy some. Put it on sandwiches, burgers, in salads, use it in appetizers, and main dishes. I think you will fall for it like I did.

This salad called for white potatoes, but while shopping for my ingredients, I saw these little purple potatoes (and purple IS my favorite color) just begging me to buy them. They must have known my favorite colors are lime green and purple. After all, 40 years ago, my bridesmaids dresses were purple and lime green accessories. Purple — potatoes, lime green — arugula  — a match made in garden heaven!

Salt!— Just wanted to say something about my salt. Since I work at Williams Sonoma I do get to try a lot of different products. We had a customer come in once and after trying some of our finishing salts declared that they were now “salt snobs”. If you haven’t tried any of these, they are wonderful. What I love about them is that they had a little salty crunch to whatever you use it on. You add the salt to your finished dish. I have tried the black and red salts from Hawaii, the white flake from Cypress, pink from Australia and the Chardonnay salt. Take a look at these if you get into a Williams Sonoma soon.

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Potato Arugula Salad

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, red new potatoes and purple potatoes
3 Tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sea salt (or finishing salt)
1/4 tsp. crushed black pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
1 bunch arugula, rinsed, dried and torn
Parmesan cheese, shaved in shards
Sea salt or Kosher salt

Bring 2 pots of salted water to a boil. Cook the white potatoes and purple potatoes separately until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, mix the vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until mixture emulsifies.

Toss the potatoes with the vinegar and oil mixture and then toss in the arugula. Toss gently so the potatoes do not break up. Sprinkle with salt and shave the Parmesan over top of salad. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

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