When I go to the farmers market, new potatoes are one of my favorite things to buy. New potatoes, the tiny first potatoes of the season, can be found from spring through early summer, and I think they are simply the best-tasting potatoes of the year.
I use them for many things, but my favorite is potato salad — especially this fresh and easy version, with handfuls of basil and crisp shallots.
If you can't find new potatoes, however, the smallest regular potatoes will do. I like to use both red and white potatoes for a fun mix of color in this salad. Look for potatoes that are just a couple inches long with no soft spots or greenish tint.
I toss them with tangy buttermilk and sour cream, with a little honey for sweetness and handfuls of fresh sweet basil and pink, crunchy shallots. It's delicious — a classic summer potato salad with a little extra color and tang.
Mixed New Potato Salad with Sweet Basil and Shallots
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
3 pounds mixed red and white new potatoes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey, warmed
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Cook the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and, as quickly as possible, while they're still hot, chop in half and put in a large bowl.
Whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, and honey together. Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust the dressing as necessary for your taste as well with more buttermilk, mayonnaise, or honey. Toss the potatoes with the dressing, shallots, and basil. Serve hot, warm, or cold (chilled a few hours in the refrigerator).
This recipe has been updated — first published April 2007.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)