Saturday, July 12, 2014

Would you like a taste of France with that potato salad?

Potato Salad with Walnuts, Grapes and Goat Cheese 

Brought to you by Victoria Abbott

We love potato salad! It shouts out summer to us.  We eat a lot of it and we like a change from time to time. We were on the hunt when this recipe turned up. This unusual version suggests a pleasant evening in the south of France.  Nothing wrong with that!  The  delicate flavor of shallots, grapes, and walnuts made sure we enjoyed the trip.  Of course, that hint of maple syrup suggested a relaxed meal in Canada.  We enjoyed it on Canada Day too.

You will need:

3 pounds red potatoes
1 large shallot, minced (makes all the difference!)
2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp walnut oil (this makes a difference too!)
1 ½ cups seedless red grapes
½ cup walnut pieces, toasted  (350 for ten minutes)
½ cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled

All you do is:

Cover unpeeled  or partly peeled potatoes with cold water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until just tender.  Drain and cool until the potatoes can be handled.


Toast the walnut pieces on a metal baking dish at 350 for about 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, mince the shallot and place in a large bowl.   Add vinegars, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive and walnut oils. 

Cut the warm potatoes into chunks and add to the bowl. Use a spatula to lift potatoes and coat with dressing (gently so potatoes don’t crumble). So far this is fun!  The warm potatoes will absorb the flavors well. 

Refrigerate several hours until cold.  Transfer to serving bowl.  

Just before serving slice grapes in half. Crumble goat cheese.  Save a few walnuts for garnish. Mix grapes, goat cheese and walnuts into potato salad until just combined. Top with reserved walnuts. It's lovely with a crisp white wine, some crusty bread, a green salad and chicken or pork. We served it with our marinated chicken on the grill. 

This will keep well for a day in the fridge.  

Psst. If you don't know, Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between mystery writer Mary Jane Maffini and artist and photographer, Victoria Maffini, her daughter.  That's us!

We think it’s nice enough for a party.  And speaking of parties,  we can’t wait to celebrate the launch of The Wolfe Widow in just six weeks.  We’ll make a batch of this as part of the fun.

To make sure you don't miss out, you can pre-order The Wolfe Widow through your favorite indie bookseller or by clicking below. How easy is that?

Barnes and Noble

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  1. This sounds marvelous. Those extras (goat cheese, maple syrup, walnuts, and grapes) certainly take is up several notches.
    One question--When is the parsley added? It looks like it went in (going by the pictures) before refrigerating.
    I look forward to the next installment Wit The Wolfe Widow.

  2. Wow! This is different from any potato salad I've ever tasted. Maple syrup? Goat Cheese? Walnuts? I'm blown away. Must try this!


  3. This is just what I needed! I've been deputized to bring a "side" for our picnic pops concert next week and this should blow everyone's socks off!