8 February 2008

Baby Yukon Potato Salad with Shallots, Chives, Bacon & Lemon Vinaigrette

Baby Yukon Potato Salad with Shallots, Chives, Bacon and Lemon Vinaigrette
I know that winter has its' positive points....but... backbreaking shovelling and driving in snow storms is not something in my destiny. I won't allow it....mind over matter and all that. Yet again a Canadian winter is something everyone should experience...at least once. When I was a kidlet I loved the winter making endless snow angels and pearing up at the clouds with not a care in the world. Then your brother would come by and rub snow in your face and a snowball fight would ensue...peace broken. We'd head off to the local hills with toboggans in tow and spend endless hours swooshing down. Now here is a little tidbit for you....one of our local hangouts for tobogganing was the cemetery. They had the perfect hill with a long causeway at the end for tumultuous spinouts. It sounds kind of morose when I think about it, but, I hope there were people looking down and smiling on our happy rosy red cheeks (no gravesites were ran over on that side of the cemetery I promise you). Our other hangout was the golf course, but, there was always the chance of getting a little wet if the stream was not frozen over. We lived in the city, afterall, so, we learned to use our imaginations and find our fun wherever we could. On weekends when my dad was home he would drive us to other places our little legs couldn't carry us to in the middle of winter to ski and toboggan. In the summer of course we could hop on our bikes and could be peddling along country roads in minutes.

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
kosher salt
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.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I wish winter would go away already. But this yummy potatp sald would calm me down for a bit. I like this as its on the lighter side rather than all that mayo .

  2. I always love potato salad. I'm a comfort food to me. It reminds me of our big family gatherings in Quebec. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Val, I actually saw a potato salad recipe with champagne vinegar so you've got something goin' on there.

    Nice, clean ingredients, worthy of the mighty spud!

  4. Love reading about where you live. This way we get to know each other much better.
    I've never heard of Yukon Potatoes. I'd love to be able to say - now these are Yukon potatoes I'm serving up now!

  5. Yes I enjoyed this salad Glamah , it was nice and light even with the bacon.
    Potato salad is the quintessential food for all gatherings Helene; glad it could be your Madeleine.
    Champagne vinegar is something I must get more of Peter.
    Perhaps you have yellow fleshed potatoes in Britain Margaret. Maybe not Yukon Golds but another kind. The more intense yellow color of the flesh, the higher the vitamin A levels, which promotes good vision, healthy skin, and improved immune system. The peel stores goodly amounts of potassium, helping to reduce risk of stroke, as well as vitamin A. So scrub them gently and leave on the peels when cooking :)

  6. Val, this salad sounds so delicious and I would eat any kind of potatoes. I liked your story about toboggans which is the first time I heard this word. I had a wild guess what it was and I was right after checking. I lived some years of my childhood in England and I remember every day I used to go home wet because there was this place we used to go after school and improvised making toboggans. What fund we had. Those were the days my friend!

  7. Potato salad is lovely and I always make it whenever we have a barbeque (at in laws). We don't have a garden!!! :(

    Let the dolmades challenge begin! haha

  8. I miss the Canadian winters so much (easy to say when you live in Florida and don't have to deal with it???!!!) But it was a great way to grow up! Your salad looks delicious!

  9. I really like potato salad served warm or room temp. The flavors in this sound wonderful...really complimentary!

  10. That reminds me so much of German potato salad, Valli! I can smell it already. All that plate needs is a grilled bratwurst and I'm in heaven.

  11. I wish it snowed here. We just get the cold without all the fun. I like cooking summery recipes at the end of winter. It's a reminder that good times are just around the corner.

  12. I just made potato salad yesterday. I will post recipe soon, but mine was very plain, yours look very nice.

    Enjoy your weekend, Margot

  13. Since the cold, wintry days are out of my life now, unless I choose them, it is nice to hear your experiences with them. I do remember the cold winter days when I was growing up. The lakes stayed frozen all winter and ice skating after school and on the weekends was a must. Then things started warming up and we did not have those frozen lakes anymore. We got cold, damp, gray 40 degree days for months. I moved south!

    Your "tater" salad looks and sounds yummy. Spring in your mouth on a cold wintry day...priceless:)

  14. Toboggan ...$24.95 Canadian
    Snowboard...$425.00 Canadian
    Snowshoeing at Lake Mccullough...$8.00 Canadian
    ......making a snow angel with friends...priceless :D

  15. Yes, yes, yes! I want to have the potatoes with the bacon, the shallots, chives, everything! :)

  16. These potatoes sound tasty. I have some ham in the freezer that I think I might use in place of the bacon.

  17. Dear Valli I like these type salads you make, I will try, look so yummy! xx Gloria

  18. I haven't seen a real winter in ~2 years now and I miss it. But like Judy said, who am I to complain down in here sunny FL...

    The potato salad looks delicious and just gets me thinking about having a nice, lazy day of BBQ.

  19. This makes me want to fire up my grill for a big BBQ!! Oh yeah, it's only 2 degrees out! Brrrr But seriously, I love this combo!

  20. I love to read your stories, Val! It seems that you had a lot of fun while you were a kid!!! We had to go 200 Kms. away from home during the winter to be able to get down a slope! But I wouldn't change your climate for mine... I think I would die with so many days without seeing the sun!
    Today, for the first time, I saw swallows flying high... is spring time round by the corner?
    I just had a very springlooking salad too (with lots of potatoes

  21. What a great story and a wonderful childhood!

    I have had a thing for potatoes lately, and these sound amazing!


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