A few weeks ago, my husband and I would have told you that our social life had been at less than zero. Unending snows, frigid temperatures, and ice-coated roads kept us and others indoors in January, February, and March. If we were idle in the cold of winter, we’re making up for it in our slow-to-arrive spring. We had a friend from New York for dinner and an overnight last week, and we have houseguests from as far away as France visiting this weekend for Memorial Day. Oh, and we’re hosting an Amherst College graduation party for 25 on Saturday. Since I’ll be doing plenty of cooking, I’m keeping things simple, grilling fish, steaks, and burgers and serving them with special sides like the potato salad with artichokes and bacon featured here.
For this dish, unpeeled red skins are boiled, then diced, and tossed while warm with artichoke hearts (purchased frozen, then defrosted and sliced) in a red wine vinaigrette scented generously with mustard. Crispy bacon adds a big flavor note to the salad while fresh chives and dill counter with refreshing accents. Since it’s not prepared with mayonnaise, this potato salad can rest on a buffet table without as much worry.
Pull out the grill and add some salmon fillets, lamb chops, burgers, or sausages. This potato salad is so versatile it will partner with any of those choices beautifully. And, it doesn’t take long to assemble and can be prepared a day ahead. Happy holiday cooking to everyone!
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Potato Salad with Artichokes and Bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
7 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 pounds small (2-inch diameter preferably) red skin potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
6 slices smoked bacon (6 ounces) cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen artichoke hearts (about 6 ounces), defrosted and patted dry (See note.)
3 tablespoons chopped chives
3 tablespoons chopped dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the shallots. Set aside while you prepare the potato salad.
2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt and the potatoes. Cook until tender, but not mushy, about 12 minutes for small potatoes and 20 minutes or more for large ones. The potatoes should be tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander and while still warm, but cool enough to handle, cut them into 3/4 inch cubes. Put the potatoes in a non-reactive serving bowl.
3. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon, and sauté, stirring often, until crisp and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Remove 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan and pour them over the potatoes. Toss to coat well.
4. Halve the artichoke hearts lengthwise and pat them dry again with paper towels. Add them to the bowl with the potatoes. Whisk the dressing well and pour over the potatoes and artichokes. Gently stir in the chives, dill, and bacon. Season the potato salad with salt and pepper. (Potato salad can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 to 45 minutes before serving.) Serves 5 to 6.
Note: Trader Joe's sells 12-ounce bags of frozen artichokes. You'll need bout a half bag for this recipe and can freeze the rest.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2015