Food and fashion are intertwined for me. When I was starting my career in New York, I worked for both a fabric trade journal (writing about the fiber content of non-flammable flannel and the benefits of micro-rib corduroy. Fascinating stuff.), AND a nascent gourmet food take-out, The Silver Palate. I have lots of stories to share about that time, but want to start here, with a recipe for a picnic favorite.
While we are social distancing, we can still enjoy a meal in the great outdoors surrounded by friends and family. This easy and different potato salad is a popular option with grilled steak, chicken or, our son’s specialty, smoked pork shoulder “torn” and stacked onto irresistible pulled pork sandwiches.
French Potato Salad
Serves 4 (you may want to double this. Just saying.)
- 1 lb potatoes (baby reds are favored, but ANY potato will do)
- Salt, to taste
- ¼ pound bacon
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- Scrub the potatoes under running water with a soft brush. Quarter them and drop them into a large heavy pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes after the water reaches a boil.
- Meanwhile, chop the bacon and sauté in a small skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove the bacon and reserve.
- In the bacon fat remaining in the skillet, sauté the chopped shallots under tender but not all browned, 5 minutes or so. Reserve the shallots and fat.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them and drop them into a mixing bowl.
- Pour the vinegar, olive oil, shallots, and reserved bacon fat over the still hot potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss. Add the red onion and parsley and toss again. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.
- Before serving, bring back to room temperature, toss, correct the seasoning, and add additional oil and vinegar if the salad seems dry. Sprinkle the reserved crisp bacon on top.
If you want to throw in some fresh blanched green beans from the Farmer’s Market, do it!