|Baby Yukon Potato Salad with Shallots, Chives, Bacon and Lemon Vinaigrette|
With temperatures dropping to the minus 40 Celcius in the prairie provinces I am happy I live in our tucked away valley. It is true that the sun rarely shines in the winter due to the inversion factor here in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia...but...I much prefer our milder temperatures...The sun of course can easily be found again at a higher elevation in the mountains and ski hills. I even prefer the snow to the rain all winter they experience on the coast. I know that they will be gloating in a few short weeks on the coast on Vancouver Island and counting their daffodils...but we had no gloomy rain over the winter...now did we? Hmmm....This is the diversity of a Canadian winter where one side of the country enjoys mild snowless winters, and the other freezing rain and blizzards. Not to say that the roles aren't sometimes reversed ..because they are. My daughter will be phoning from Vancouver and gloating soon about the sunshine and crocuses.
I felt yesterday like having a potato salad with visions of an early Spring..or maybe even summer.... in my head . Wiarton Willy the groundhog saw his shadow and predicted only 6 more weeks of winter....don't 'ya know. I discovered this recipe in the March issue of Fine Cooking magazine .This is more like a German potato salad and is best served soon after it is made at room temperature. If you must refrigerate it, let it return to room temperature before serving. It has a refreshing lemony flavour that went very well with the Chicken Cutlet and reminded me of Spring.....
**Baby Yukon Potato Salad with Shallots, Chives, Bacon and Lemon Vinaigrette**
1-3/4 lb. baby Yukon Gold potatoes
4 strips bacon
1/4 cup minced shallot (from 1 large shallot)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar or white-wine vinegar ( I used Champagne vinegar because it was what I had on hand)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
freshly ground black pepper
Put the potatoes in a 4 - 5 quart saucepan and cover by about 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 T salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil gently until the potatoes are tender enough to pierce easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Don't overcook them or they will fall apart.
Meanwhile, put the bacon slices in a cold 10-inch skillet and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate, reserving the drippings. Coarsely chop or crumble the bacon and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander and let cool slightly. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half any that are larger than a walnut. Taste a bit of potato skin; if it is bitter or feels tough, peel all the potatoes with a paring knife.
Drop the potatoes into the bowl with the shallot mixture. Add the olive oil, 2 T of the chives, 1 T bacon drippings, and the chopped bacon. Toss to combine. (It may appear that there's too much dressing, but it will be absorbed). Let the salad sit for 20 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt, if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 T chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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