The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Looking For Bargains and Potato Salad with Capers, Shallots and Whole Grain Mustard

Saturday, we drove around town while our laundry was being cleansed at an almost empty laundromat. We leave our clothes behind and run errands. It smells funny in there and we got tired of watching other peoples’ kids. Leaving things behind hasn’t been a problem yet.

When I was living in a tiny studio at Purdue, someone stole my clothes during the 5 minutes that Greg and I went to pick something up at his apartment. They took my favorite t-shirt, some pajamas and jeans…I laughed at the jeans because I’m short and they were hemmed for me. Fat chance they fit. I’ll never get over that shirt though.

Garage sale season is here or approaching. Garage sales and dandelions pop up together in my mind. (I found a recipe for fried dandelions and am debating whether or not to make it. Any thoughts?) We stopped by six sales and I picked up (don’t judge) some baby clothes for our nephew arriving in August.

Living on the outskirts of a bigger city growing up, we ventured to what I called “the richie sales,” or the sales in the rich neighborhoods with the nice items. That’s even more fun to do as an adult. I love a bargain but know when to pass something up that we don’t need-a skill I had to acquire.

It’s growing on Greg. If you ask his mom, he hated stopping by these events as a kid. I remember when we were first dating and he came home from college one weekend to help me with one of my many sales. His mom told me she knew he was really into me when that happened. I’m a seasoned veteran when it comes to hosting yard sales because that’s how we move. We simply put some of our belongings up for sale and move on.

The goal of our visits, besides finding great deals on things we didn’t know we needed, was to obtain a cooler for camping with Memorial Day coming. We had no luck with that even though I was really feeling like last weekend was THE weekend. I don’t want to pay full price for something I’ve seen time and again at yard sales.

The most memorable sale was at an elderly couple’s garage. The wife came up to us, looking confused, and asked why we were there. I just said we’re here for the garage sale (long pause)…. I probably looked confused too since her husband had just told us to go on in while he walked down his driveway. No matter, no cooler.

What is pretty cool is chilled potato salad and I’m not talking about the mayo-based kind. I prefer mine in a vinaigrette with grainy mustard and parsley. The original recipe said to serve this salad warm and while I like that idea, I like chilled better for hot days and that it can come to room temp without issues for outdoor events. (I took this dish to a cookout.) This one is from Blue Kitchen, adapted to feed more and for our tastes. Enjoy!

Potato Salad with Capers, Shallots and Mustard
Serves 6 to 8

3 lbs. small red potatoes
¼ cup olive oil
3 ½ tbsp whole grain mustard
pinch of sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped capers
¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large pot, place the scrubbed potatoes and cover with water by 2 inches, add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just cooked (easily pierce through with a fork), 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk the oil, mustard, pinch of sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Slice the slightly warm potatoes into halves or quarters and place in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the potatoes and gently toss until the potatoes are coated. Add the chopped capers, shallots and parsley, again gently tossing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve while warm or room temp but I like to chill the salad for an hour before serving. This salad is great to set out at a gathering since the temp doesn’t matter for serving.

2 thoughts on “Looking For Bargains and Potato Salad with Capers, Shallots and Whole Grain Mustard

  1. My husband and I love capers, and I’ve never thought of adding them to potato salad. What a great idea! I also adore going to those sales, and it was fun to hear your recollections!

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