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Potato and Pea Salad for Spring

This is one of my favorite warm weather recipes. Something about it just says summer to me.

It is the perfect side dish with everything from fillet mignon to roasted chicken.

Mr. Smith does not like potato salad. He told me this early on in our whirlwind relationship. I, however, would not be deterred. I knew that if he tried this he would like it.

Well, turns out, I was right. Mr. Smith is still not crazy about potato salad, in general. He does like this one because it has a little extra zip (the Dijon and the cayenne really make a huge difference, especially after a day or so).

Potato and Pea Salad

3 pounds small red-skinned new potatoes, unpeeled
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

1 cup mayonnaise (I usually use less)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain; cool. Cut potatoes into quarters. Transfer to large bowl; add vinegar and toss to coat. Mix in celery and peas.

Whisk mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, and cayenne pepper in small bowl to blend. Add to potato mixture and toss. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 1 hour to allow flavors to marry. I would recommend making it in the morning to have ready for dinner, or even the day before, if you can.

A note: The original recipe calls for chives, lots of chives, 6 tablespoons of chives. That, in my opinion, is TOO MANY CHIVES! I am not a fan of onions in general, so I leave them out. If you are a fan of onion-type items, then feel free to add the chives. I am not going to stop you.

Adapted from Bon App├ętit, July 2001

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