Saturday, August 7, 2010
Another dog, another potato salad
Upon careful review, it seems I can't quite keep away from certain topics here. You know what they are: sea turtles, the beach, dogs...and recently, potato salad. I promise not to mention it, at least for awhile, after this post. But since some of you very dear readers commented on the undeniable charm of potato salad when it's freshly made and the potatoes are still a bit warm, I have one more to share. But rescue before food, my dears.
Pictured is Rubin, who joined us as a foster dog today. I have a feeling he won't be here long: he is a perfectly beautiful Boxer, a dark brindle color like our old dear Sheba. (For those of you who didn't know Sheba, she helped us raise our boys in a manner reminscent of the dog Nana in "Peter Pan" and was an honored member of our family for nearly 14 years.) Rubin is a young dog, full of energy and very eager to please, and he's sure to find a forever home soon. It's always enlightening to bring a foster home and observe (and of course direct) the dynamics of the pack. This is a guy without much experience with other dogs, so it was really fun to watch our dogs exert their varying influences. Meg's timid nature challenged his ability to control dominance impulses. Ty, who brooks no nonsense, tolerated him with her usual disdain. Calvin was the hero of the day. He was the soul of balance, setting an example of calm for everyone else. We learn something new from every dog, and Rubin is no exception.
So: the potato salad and then I really DO promise to shut up about it. This is based on a Moosewood Cookbook recipe with my own touches. It's too exotic for most of my family but I love to make it when Katie is home. (Remind me to put it on the list of favorites this fall, when the whole gang is home from Africa....)
If you can get them, Yukon Gold potatoes are lovely for this salad. Peel and shop as you would for any other potato salad, seasoning with some kosher salt as they cook. If you have new potatoes or those tiny red bliss potatoes, don't peel them, just scrub them well and chop into the size you want before cooking; kosher salt still applies, of course. I'm not sure how to tell you how many potatoes you need for this; I'd use about 2-1/2 pounds but it's a salad: you can't go wrong with the proportions. You can refine next time you make the recipe, so don't let it worry you.
While the potatoes are cooking, dice an onion and a clove or two of garlic. Saute these gently in a touch of olive oil, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Very finely chop some fresh parsley (or other fresh herbs, as you like - a touch of fresh thyme or rosemary would be lovely) and set this aside. When the onion and garlic are translucent and fragrant and the potatoes are fork-tender and have been drained, toss together in your best big salad bowl along with the chopped herbs. Add an 8-ounce container of ricotta cheese, toss gently and serve while warm. This is one of those recipes in which a low-fat or even fat-free ricotta will do very nicely. Bon appetit!
P.S. Rodney and I noted Guana sea turtle nest N138 this weekend. If the turtles of the southern half of Guana State Park are keeping pace, there should be well over 200 sea turtle nests so far this season. In the immortal words of Lulumarie (and indeed, of us all): GO, baby sea turtles!