It truly was one of my favorite things that I ate in Paris....so different from any potato salad I'd ever eaten (what, no mayonnaise?).
So, after blogging about it, I decided it was time to do some research. As usual, I searched the internet for "French Potato Salad" and I search through my cookbooks......the one that sounded like it would taste most like what I tasted was the one from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Pommes de Terre A L'Huile or sliced potatoes in oil and vinegar dressing.
Of course, I changed it up a little....that's just how I roll. Instead of cooking the potatoes whole, as she calls for, I peeled them and cut them into slices.
I did this because I felt that I would get mmore evenly cooked slices. Then I put them in boiling salted water and cooked them at just below a boil until they were just barely fork tender. Once they are done, put them in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and 1/4 cup of vermouth (white wine is fine!) and gently toss them to cover. Let them sit while you make your dressing.
For my dressing, I used 2 tablepoons of red wine vinegar...then added 1 tablespoon of Maille Old Style Whole Grain Dijon Mustard.
...Julia's recipe calls for prepared mustard...yuck! Besides, it's clear from the picture of what we had in Paris that it's a whole grain mustard...and I just like the Maille brand the best.
Once I whisked those together, I added a little salt, then whisked in 4 tablespoons of olive oil (I used extra virgin, but I think the light olive oil or even vegetable oil might work a little better).
I then added chopped chives and peppercorns, drained my potatoes and prepared my plate!
It looks close enough and it tasted great....but we both agreed that it wasn't quite right! After we ate our dinner, I put the rest of the potatoes in with the rest of the dressing and left them on the counter. The longer they sat, the better they tasted! So, if you try this recipe, make them in advance and allow them to marinate.....it was as close as I could get to what we had in Paris. I'd also like to try adding more chives and pink peppercorns, instead of the red.
I'd love to hop a plane and go back and taste them again....but since I can't even remember where we ate, that's useless. I'll just stick with this recipe!