Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Memorial Day has come and gone. Ours wasn't too eventful - we had a great dinner out with the family on Friday, but the rest of the weekend was pretty lowkey. Long weekends are always a welcome change - I always try some new recipes and even found a ltitle time for a much needed manicure and pedicure. Our dinner last night changed from my original plan - I was going to pick up lobsters because they were on sale but we'd had our fill of seafood of late, so we put two t-bones on the grill. The day was pretty hot so I wanted side dishes that weren't too much fuss. I settled on corn on the cob - surprisingly good for this time of year - and a potato salad that might just be the most memorable thing about our quiet Monday at home.
A couple of years ago, my mom gave me a cookbook that she'd found on Martha's Vineyard. It's called Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers. I remember opening it and thinking, "Salads? Boring." My opinion has changed as I've tested more recipes from this book. They're packed with flavor and combine common salad ingredients in new and unusual ways. There's a whole section on potato salads - the chapter title is "Not Your Mother's Potato Salad." My mom happens to make great potato salad, but it's the traditional kind with mayo, so the ones in the book are definitely a departure from that. I opted to try the Potato Salad with Arugula, Tomatoes, Bacon and Goat Cheese. Why? Because the name of the recipe combines my favorite things and a quick scan of the ingredients revealed more tasty delights: kalamata olives and balsamic vinegar.
This is a recipe I'll make again. Boiling the potatoes is about the hardest part. Once that's done, just toss in everything else and you're good to go. And the flavors go great with steak. (And hopefully with chicken because we'll be having the leftovers on Wednesday with some grilled chicken.). I cut the recipe in half since there are only two of us. But it could also be multiplied for a crowd. Boil the potatoes and cook the bacon in the morning before the summer heat kicks in and the rest is a cool and easy assembly of ingredients.
Potato Salad with Arugula, Tomatoes, Bacon and Goat Cheese
adapted from Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers
2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
1 1/2 cups baby arugula coarsely chopped
4 ounces goat cheese
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. When cool enough to touch, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Cook the bacon and drain well on paper towels.
Whisk the vinegar and oil together in a small bowl.
When ready to serve, add the tomatoes, arugula, and olives to the potatoes then drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat and add salt and pepper to taste. Put the goat cheese in the freezer for 5 minutes then use a fork to crumble it over the top of the salad. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and serve.