Potato Salad with Chorizo and Chives

This potato salad is a new and delicious twist on tradition. Small red skin potatoes, boiled in their skins, then quartered, and chopped hard-boiled eggs form the base, and are accented by bits of chorizo, a smoked Spanish sausage available in many supermarkets. It is the chorizo with its subtle smokiness that makes this potato salad so distinctive. These three ingredients are tossed together in a mustard and shallot vinaigrette, then sprinkled with snipped chives.

Potato Salad with Chorizo and Chives

For dressing
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard,
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots

For potato salad
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch dice (See note.)
2 pounds small (preferably 1 1/2 to 2- inch diameter) red skin potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons chopped chives plus a few whole chives for garnish, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. For dressing, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Whisk in 6 tablespoons oil, then stir in shallots. Set aside while you prepare the chorizo and the potatoes.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and saute until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Leave the chorizo in the skillet but remove pan from heat.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and simmer until tender, but not mushy, about 12 minutes. Drain well and while still warm but cool enough to handle, quarter them. (If the potatoes are larger than 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, cut them into 3/4 inch cubes.) Put potatoes in a non-reactive serving bowl, pour dressing over them, and toss to coat well. Add the chorizo and any oil in the skillet, eggs, chives, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

4. Let salad stand at cool room temperature at least 1 hour for flavors to meld. (Salad can be prepared 6 hours ahead and actually improves in flavor; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.)

5. Serve potatoes at room temperature. Garnish the center with a few chive sprigs, if desired. Serves 8.

Note: Chorizo is a highly seasoned pork sausage available in both Spanish and Mexican varieties. For this salad, use the Spanish type, which is made with smoked pork and is already cooked, not the Mexican one, which is prepared with fresh pork. Wellshire choizo, available at Whole Foods Stores, works well.

© Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2012

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