Healthy New Potato Salad with Spinach and Shallots

Healthy Fingerling Potato Salad with Shallots, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Our Richmond housing strata was having a BBQ this last weekend. Everyone was to contribute something - appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, dessert, etc. I decided on my Rice Noodle and Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing. It makes a large bowlful, is gluten and dairy free and is a hit every time I take it. This time was no exception. There were hardly any leftovers to take home.

At the same time, I had just purchased a large bag of red and white new potatoes from Costco. There was no way I would get them all used up before they started to soften, so I decided to make a second smaller salad to give me a chance to try a new recipe. A recent email from Yummly offered a link to a healthy potato salad made with fresh spinach and shallots and featuring a dressing with no mayo and not much oil. This was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

The credit for this salad recipe goes to Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food, and she credits Rancho La Puerta - a health spa and resort - for inspiring it. It isn't crazy or unique, but a solid offering I think most people would enjoy. Nice subtle flavours and the healthy dressing are win-win for most potluck situations in general. It didn't blow everyone away the same the Rice Noodle Salad did as it's not as unusual, but everyone enjoyed it. So I firmly label it a great side dish to complement a regular meal.

The only thing I would offer is I think 8 servings listed in the original version of this recipe is not realistic in a normal dining situation. With the number of dishes we had, people each took just a spoonful of everything offered, so there was plenty. But if this was a side dish for a standard dinner of meat-potato-vegetable, I think 4-6 depending on serving proportions is more realistic.

Since I adore leftovers to eat the next day, I have doubled all ingredients. Want a smaller dish? Just cut the amounts in half again. I also changed up a few small details. Instead of boiling potatoes. I prefer to cut them in half, toss with olive oil and roast in a 350 oven. The potatoes have a more intense flavour, it keeps them from getting mushy and baking gives the skins some texture. I also prefer fresh parsley to dried, so I made that change as well. Enjoy!

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New Potato Salad with Spinach and Shallot
8-10 Servings (this recipe has been doubled from the original)

3 lbs         Mixed Red & White New Potatoes (or tri-colour if you can find them)
2 T           Olive Oil
4 C           Baby Spinach
1/2 C        Shallots, peeled and minced
8               Sun Dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces (see note*)
2 T           Fresh Chives, Chopped
2 T           Fresh Italian Parsley, Chopped

(*note - I used Bella San Luci sun dried tomato halves. They weren't fully dried, they were soft like a rain. Less messy that those packed in oil and still easy to chop and eat. If you use fully dried ones, you'll need to rehydrate by soaking in warm water and then draining.)

1/2 C       Red Wine Vinegar
2 T          Minced Shallots
4 tsp        Whole-grain Dijon Mustard
2 tsp        Maple Syrup
1 tsp        Sea Salt
1/4 tsp     Black Pepper
4 T          Olive Oil


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and dry potatoes, then cut in half lengthwise and toss with olive oil. Bake on a cookie sheet, turning occasionally, until tender and slightly browned. The size of the potatoes and how tightly they are packed on the cookie sheet will affect the timing - usually 30 - 50 minutes. Cool.

Place potatoes in a large serving bowl with spinach, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, chives and parsley. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and pour over the the potato mixture. Toss to coat. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Toss again just before serving.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator to be used the next day.