The executive chef of Floataway Cafe, Todd Immel and his junior “sous chef”, Aidan Immel served this exquisite New Potato and Torpedo Onion Salad topped with a perfectly boiled egg at the Chef Series for the Morningside Market. I love it when chefs bring their children to these demos; it builds the child’s self confidence speaking in front of crowds and emphasizes cooking can be a family event.
This classic potato salad does not contain mayonnaise making it ideal for summer picnics. Adding the hard boiled egg is optional; I recommend omitting it if the salad will sitting out in the sun for hours. Definitely search for Torpedo onions to make this simple salad. They are one of the best onions you will ever eat.
Torpedo onions originate from Calabria, Italy and date back to before BC. They are very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Torpedo onions resemble shallots with the reddish-purple football shaped bulb but have long green onion stalks that can be thinly sliced for a garnish or used in stocks.
These onions are sweet enough to eat raw making them perfect for sandwiches and salads but a slow sauté will bring out their rich flavor even more. In this recipe, Todd Immel prepares the Torpedo onions two different ways so you can enjoy the tender sweetness in the sautéed ones and crunch from the raw sliced pieces marinated in sherry vinaigrette.
You can find these heirloom onions at your local farmers market in the spring and summer months. Sometimes they are available in the fall. I bought mine at Crystal Organic Farm at the Morningside Market. Torpedo onions do not have the long shelf life of storage variety onions found in grocery stores. They should be consumed within 2 months from harvest.
1) Cook the Potatoes- Scrub the potatoes to remove all the dirt. Bring the water to a boil and add the whole potatoes. Simmer until tender and then remove from the water to cool. Cut the potatoes into quarters or eighths if the potatoes are large.
2) Torpedo Onions- Slice the Torpedo onions and cook 8 ounces of the onions in olive oil until fragrant and tender. Let cool.
3) Sherry Vinaigrette- In a bowl add the sherry vinegar and dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. I recommend Back to Organic Lemon Twist Himalayan and freshly ground black pepper.
4) Marinade- Slice the Torpedo onions with a mandoline or knife. Add 2 ounces of the onions to 2 ounces of Sherry Vinaigrette and let marinade for a few minutes.
5) Make the Salad- Add the cooked potatoes and onions into the raw onions marinading in the sherry vinaigrette. Add the rest of the Sherry Vinaigrette. Gently toss in the nicoise olives, torpedo greens thinly sliced, and the chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
6) Garnish- Top with a hard boiled egg if you wish. Enjoy!
Here is a copy of his recipe for you to print.
Photos from TC Brodnax.