[Warm Potato Salad]
The other day, when my Campanier basket included a bag of Charlottes, Jackie mentioned that her favorite use for these small potatoes, tender-fleshed and sweet, was a warm potato salad. This stuck in my mind so much that I couldn’t think, for the life of me, what else any one could possibly choose to make with these beauties.
I made this salad using the leftover ham and parsley I had on hand, and threw in some toasted hazelnuts for the added crunch and nuttiness. Easy enough to make on a weeknight, it turned out to be really delicious, with a decidedly high comfort factor.
Salade Tiède de Charlottes
– 8 small Charlotte potatoes
– 3 slices of ham
– one onion
– one shallot
– one garlic clove
– 1/4 C hazelnuts
– fresh parsley
– olive oil, cider vinegar
– salt, pepper
Peel and chop the onion, shallot and garlic clove. Heat some olive oil in a small skillet, add the onion, shallot and garlic, and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until soft and golden.
Put the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted cold water. Bring to a boil, and let simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the potatoes meets no resistance. If the potatoes are of varying size, take the smaller ones out when they are cooked, leaving the bigger ones in.
While everything cooks, wash and chop the parsley, dice the ham, toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet and chop them roughly.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and let them cool down enough so you can actually handle them without having the skin desintegrate in scorched layers off your fingers. Peel and slice them (the potatoes, not the fingers) and put the slices in a salad bowl. Add the cooked onion mixture, the diced ham, the hazelnuts and the parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, pour a little olive oil and a little cider vinegar, and toss to coat. Have a bite (or as many as you deem necessary, this is the cook’s privilege), and adjust the seasoning to your taste (or the perceived taste of your guests if self-abnegation is your thing).
You can serve this salad right away, or reserve it, covered, in the fridge, until ready to serve. You would then reheat it in the microwave, the ideal eating condition being just a tad warmer than room temp. Use metal circles for the plating if it amuses you as much as it amuses me.