TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2009
NEW POTATO SALAD WITH WATERCRESS & MEYER LEMON CR?ME
After testing potato recipes for a?previous post, I had a quite a few boiled spuds remaining. It just so happened there was also a pristine bunch of biodynamic watercress on hand. Potatoes and watercress are commonly paired in classic French cuisine, and with good reason; the peppery bite of watercress adds character and depth to the dish, yet its intensity is tamed by the starchy potatoes. I searched my pantry and refrigerator for that extra something, that special component that could marry and enliven the two left-over vegetables. A bowl of Meyer lemons caught my eye, as did a jar of fresh cr?me fraiche. Together, the four ingredients worked in beautiful harmony, creating a potato salad that would be the star of any picnic or potluck. I hope you’ll give it a try!WATERCRESS is a wild herb that is now being widely cultivated. I prefer the green in the spring, when its young leaves are tender and slightly sweet. The pungency of watercress signals its detoxifying and carminative (digestive aid) properties.
Purchase watercress that is vibrant and perky, with no signs of wet spoilage or yellowing leaves. Store watercress wrapped in paper towels, in a sealed container, in the refrigerator for up to three days; wash well, but gently before using. Watercress can be eaten raw or lightly wilted by heat; cooking almost entirely eliminates its mustardy bite.
For information on POTATOES, click?here.
3 pounds baby new potatoes
1 large shallot, finely minced
1 large Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cr?me fraiche
5 cups loosely packed watercress leaves, rinsed well and towel-dried
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place baby new potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold water (you start the whole potatoes in cold water so that they cook evenly – from the center out); bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow potatoes to cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted meets no resistance. Drain potatoes and allow them to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place minced shallot in a large mixing bowl. Using a?Microplane, zest the Meyer lemon into the bowl; add 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and allow the shallots to soak in the lemon juice for 5-10 minutes (this will reduce their “raw” flavor). Slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil and cr?me fraiche; taste and adjust seasoning.
To the lemon cr?me, add potatoes, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper. Add watercress and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.