As I prepare for another trip to France next month and contemplate the culinary and vinous joys of the Rhone Valley spread out before me, I thought I'd get in the mood this week with a reprise of a simple but delicious French summer salad I published a few years ago ... not coincidentally just before I took off for another trip to the Rhone and Provence.
A fairly hearty salad that features young fingerling potatoes and, um, Italian sausage, so sue me, it's a good dish for summer because it requires little cooking and can be built, mostly, well in advance. Much of the last hour before dinner is spent simply waiting for the flavors to blend as the dish cools to room temperature.
If you prefer a vegetarian rendition, just omit the sausage. It will still be good.
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1 pound fingerling or new potatoes
1. Put the potatoes (whole, skins on) in a saucepan with water to cover. Add 1 tablespoon salt, cover, bring to a full boil, then reduce heat and simmer until they're tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Put the sausage links in a pan with water to cover. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
3. While the potatoes and sausage are cooking, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine and mustard into a vinaigrette.
4. Drain the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Put them in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over them while still hot. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss and stir gently, taking care not to break up the potatoes.
5. Drain the sausage, rinse off excess fat, and cut into thin slices. Mix with the potatoes and set aside to cool for an hour or so, stirring occasionally.
6. Chop the scallions, stir into the potatoes and sausage. Check seasoning and serve atop a bed of salad greens. Makes a meal in itself on a hot spring or summer evening.
MATCHING WINE: Although the conventional wisdom holds that tart salad dressings "war" with wine, the substantial presence of potatoes in sausage in this one carry the day, with the vinaigrette acting as more of a condiment than the dominating flavor. It was excellent with Château de Lascaux 1999 "Les Nobles Pierres" Pic Saint-Loup (an excellent Coteaux de Languedoc Syrah) and would go very well indeed with either a red or white Burgundy.
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Thursday, May 19, 2005
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