(POSTED: July 28, 2004)
Asian Potato Salad
12 whole scallions, plus 5 tablespoons minced scallion, white part only (divided use)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup Asian sesame oil
2 pounds new potatoes
5 tablespoons minced prosciutto
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped cashews, toasted
Trim the roots and tough green tops off the whole scallions. Using a large, wide-bladed knife, flatten the trimmed scallions on a work surface.
Combine canola and sesame oils in a skillet over high heat. Cover and cook the oils just until they begin to smoke, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the flattened scallions to the pan, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to a large pan with a steamer basket insert, add water to reach just below the basket. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat and place potatoes in the basket. They should fit in a single layer; if you have more than one layer, steam in batches. Cover pan and steam potatoes until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, up to 15 minutes, adding more water as needed so it doesn't boil away.
Transfer potatoes to a colander to drain. Remove basket and pour water out of pan. Return potatoes to warm pan and toss over low heat to dry. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl.
Pour the contents of the skillet into a sieve set over a bowl and press on the scallions with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible. To the oil, add the prosciutto, 3 tablespoons of the minced scallions, the vinegar, pepper and salt; stir just to combine.
Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes, toss gently, cover and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours before serving. (The salad can be prepared up to 1 day in advance, covered and refrigerated.) Just before serving, sprinkle the cashews over the salad and toss gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons scallions over the salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings.