Thursday, July 05, 2007

Potato Pancetta and Mint Salad

I do think I have an abiding love of potatoes and when it comes to potato salads I find it hard to go past the ultra simple salad of my childhood - warm potato pieces tossed through a parsley speckled vinaigrette.

So while I was flicking through the pages of Jane Lawson's Cocina Nueva it wasn't surprising that I found myself instantly attracted to her vinaigrette based potato salad. Having been thoroughly impressed with her Coca I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with this salad. Rather than parsley, it uses mint and the dressing also contains garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and sherry vinegar. Along with Kipfler potatoes there's one other ingredient and this is crisp cubes of Chorizo.

Alas I didn't have Chorizo on hand but did have Pancetta and it proved to be a most adequate replacement. If eating meat isn't your thing then there's enough flavour in the dressing to more than satisfy - perhaps the addition of some roasted nuts will give you that contrasting textural element.

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Potato Pancetta and Mint Salad

Mint Dressing
1½ tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of sugar
20mls lemon infused extra virgin Olive oil
40mls extra virgin Olive oil (or just use 60mls extra virgin Olive oil)
large handful mint, finely shredded

500 grams Kipfler potatoes (or your favourite waxy potato)
1 thick slice pancetta, cut into small dice (or 1 chorizo, cut into small dice)

Make the dressing:
Place the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, mustard and sugar into a bowl and whisk together. Drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly so as to emulsify the mixture. Sprinkle over the mint and just stir through. Let this sit to allow the flavours to infuse.

Cook the potatoes:
Choose potatoes that are roughly the same size - it just means that when it comes to boiling them they will roughly take the same time.

I prefer to boil the potatoes with their skins on - you can then choose to use them in the salad either skinned or skin on.

Cook the pancetta:
While the potatoes are boiling, place the pancetta/chorizo pieces into a hot pan and cook until crisp. You'll find that they release a bit of fat while cooking so make sure you drain them well on paper towels,

Assemble the salad:
When the potatoes are cooked, remove them and slice them into 2cm/¾inch thick pieces. Place them into your serving dish along with the drained pancetta pieces.

Spoon over the dressing and toss well - as the potatoes are warm they really take on the flavours of the dressing.

Serve at once.

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This is a salad that is wonderfully fresh but also quite zingy due to the presence of garlic and lemon juice. It's extremely easy to eat and you may find yourself unwilling to share...or perhaps that's just me.

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7 comments:

  1. Yum! If I hadn't made potato salad last night, I'd do this one tonight. Maybe tomorrow.....

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  2. Ohhhh that looks really delicious!!! Made the zucchini flowers again and used the polenta, think I needed to add a bit of salt and possibly oregano to the batter. Stuffed with goats cheese and spinach and they were yummy!!! Thanks again!!!

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  3. Potato salads are always good, Haalo - but yours is magnificent!

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  4. Thanks Lorena - I'd very happily have this tomorrow ;)

    Thanks Pat - the fun is in the experimenting and the eating, I'm so happy to know you are enjoying them so much!

    Thanks Patricia!

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  5. The recipe sounds delicious and the photos are fantastic - perfect!

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  6. I like Kipfler potatoes and the combination with vinegar and mint sounds fab to me. I much prefer this to potato salads made of mayo.

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  7. Thanks Maninas!

    Totally agree Nora - this is just so light and fresh, it's a pleasure to eat.

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