Tis the Season for Salads – The Pasta & Potato Variety That Is

By | May 31, 2013 at 7:48 am | No comments | Eat, Seasonal Food | Tags: , ,

As we move truly into the summertime, that means more BBQ’s and picnics will dot our ever busy schedules.  It always seems to me that standard reply from the host or hostess when asked what we can bring is “some good side.”  Now, every time I go to a barbecue or picnic there will always be a table full of these side items.  Some of them look like grandmas pea and lettuce salad with mayo that came straight off the set of Mad Men.  Then there are some people who bring sides that look like they are off the pages of the latest Thomas Keller fine art gallery of a cookbook.  When I don’t have time to make something look amazing, but want it to taste amazing I fall back to a really good potato or pasta salad.  When done right they are crowd pleasers and you’ll assuredly go home with an empty bowl and happy eaters.

With all of that in mind, we’ve found a couple of really good recipes of each variety to share.  These are both from Saveur magazine and have been hits at many a picnic / barbecue before.

 

Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese

 

Credit: André Baranowski

Credit: André Baranowski

 

SERVES 2 – 4

INGREDIENTS

Kosher salt, to taste
1 bunch rapini (about 1 lb.), roughly chopped
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3⁄4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
12 oz. orecchiette
2 tbsp. lemon zest
4 oz. goat cheese, softened

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add rapini and boil until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rapini to a large bowl of ice water; chill. Drain rapini, pat dry, and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add chile flakes and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds. Add rapini, toss, and remove pan from heat; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer pasta and lemon zest to reserved skillet over high heat. Toss to combine and season with salt. Divide pasta between bowls and add a dollop of goat cheese to each.

 

 

Potato Salad with Tarragon and Shallots

Credit: James Baigrie

Credit: James Baigrie

 

SERVES 6 – 8
The addition of tarragon and shallots to this beloved summer staple makes it even tastier.
2 lbs. fingerling potatoes, halved
3 tbsp. vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and minced
3 tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3–4 tbsp. mayonnaise

1. Boil fingerling potatoes in a large pot of salted water over high heat until tender, 10–20 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Add vinegar, shallots, tarragon, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix gently, let cool, then mix in mayonnaise.

 

Recipes courtesy of Saveur.com

 

-Jerry

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