The second year we belonged to a CSA farm share something shifted in my brain. I embraced the concept of not knowing what I'd get in the box until CSA day. Now I thrive on the challenge of using all the produce (by eating it fresh or putting it up for later) before the next CSA day.
This mental shift in my thinking did not come easily, and it has spilled over into the rest of my cooking. Now I keep my eyes peeled for marked-down grocery items and buy those instead of full-price ones, then figure out what to cook after I get home. It's serendipitous when a recipe I've thought about matches an ingredient that has been marked down.
I'm very lucky to have a Danish sister-in-law. In addition to loving my brother, raising wonderful kids, and being a talented designer (don't get me started on the hand-me-downs my daughter's gotten from her cousins) she's also a great cook and the best sous chef I've ever had.
Technically she's the only sous chef I've ever had, but she set the bar very high. Once during a deployment I hosted Christmas and in my little kitchen, with Christine's help, we churned out an American-style Christmas breakfast (complete with overnight yeasted sticky rolls--that's the pan in the corner photo) followed by a full-on Thanksgiving dinner several hours later. Christine chopped, stirred, and washed up like we'd been doing this together for years. And the tablescape? Amazing!Once, while I was visiting Copenhagen, Christine made a simple sauce for our steamed fingerling potatoes. She combined crème fraîche, a little mayo, garlic, salt, and pepper and served a spoonful of it alongside the potatoes. It was, obviously, memorable and every time I make it I think of her.
As the weather warms up, my family starts asking for potato salad. What they are asking for is my Confetti Potato Salad. However, my celery isn't ready to harvest yet*, and I don't want to buy any when I know I'll be filling my crispers in a few days with our CSA farm share. Kicking around in my brain was the idea of taking Christine's sauce and tossing it with crispy roasted potatoes for a potato salad. When I saw crème fraîche marked down at the store, that's exactly what I did.
This potato salad is like a Little Black Dress--it works on fine china alongside a steak or piled onto a paper plate next to a hot dog. It's tasty hot, or simply warm, and even chilled (my daughter scarfed all the leftovers, so I'm taking her word on that one). I roasted my potatoes, but if you have the grilling skills you could easily do this dish on the road--simply mix up the sauce at home and carry it to the event in a cooler, then when the potatoes are grilled, toss the whole thing together and serve.
Roasted Potato Salad with Crème Fraîche Sauce (serves 6ish in my household, YMMV)
*Updated! 2 1/2 pounds potatoes (I used Yukon golds, but will use new potatoes from the farm share next time)
olive oil (I use 1-2 Tablespoons)
salt and pepper (healthy pinch of the former, several grinds of the latter)
8 ounces/ crème fraîche
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large clove (about 2 Tablespoons) roasted garlic (here's how I put up my garlic crop)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
several grinds of fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub, rinse, and cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, a healthy pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring every 15-20 minutes or so, for 60-75 minutes until they are browned and crispy. If you've got the oven going at a higher temperature for something else, the potatoes will cook faster so check them with each stir. While the potatoes are roasting, grab another large bowl (or, like me, the same one that's gotten washed--and not by a sous chef) and mix up the sauce ingredients. Combine the potatoes with the sauce, taste to see if you need a bit more salt or pepper, and serve hot, warm, or chilled.
*Celery Update: In addition to my garlic, the celery is currently the happiest vegetable in my garden. The regrown plants are thriving since I transplanted them outside last month. I've got a Garden Photos Album on my FB page where you can check it out. After I've harvested, I'll write up the whole celery growing experience, but I've written about the start of it in this blog post.
This post is shared with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up and What's Cookin' Wednesday, What's In The Box, and the From The Farm Blog Hop and Food on Friday: Sauces.