Over the ramparts you tossed
The scent of your skin and some foreign flowers
Tied to a brick
Sweet as a song
The years have seemed short but the days were long.
This week’s second salad will stick to your ribs if you let it. It’s busting out with crispy bacon and buttery fingerling potatoes. It also has plenty of green bits: celery hearts, celery leaves, and baby arugula. It’s awesome still warm or at room temperature. I’ve eaten it cold straight from the fridge this week several times too. The original recipe calls for watercress. I opted for baby arugula because I wanted its bitter bite to perk up the milder flavors of potatoes and celery.
We picnicked with this salad on Tuesday evening at Chill on the Hill, an outdoor summer concert series here in Milwaukee. Also in the cooler: half a roasted chicken and a bottle of Gnarly Head red. I sliced up a nectarine and threw a handful of blueberries into whole milk yogurt with a glug of maple syrup and called it dessert. So fresh.
The food was good; the beats were funky; the mosquitoes weren’t biting; it was summer.
What more could an earthling ask for?
Fingerling Potato Salad with Celery, Bacon and Arugula
modified from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living- July 2012
“Martha” says: Assembling this potato salad while the potatoes are still warm is key. They’ll absorb more flavor from the vinegar and oiil, and the heat will also slightly wilt the celery and [arugula].
1 1/2 pounds fingerling or other small potatoes
6 slices thick cut bacon (I used venison bacon, you could do turkey or tempeh bacon!)
6 celery stalks, sliced thin
1/2 cup celery leaves
2 cups arugula
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Put the potatoes in a big pot covered by 2 inches with cold water. Salt the water generously. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until just barely tender. Check them often by piercing with a fork or knife. It should take between 8 and 12 minutes depending on your spuds.
While potatoes cook, fry up your bacon in a skillet under crispy, but not burned. Remove from pan onto paper towel and when cool enough, chop into bite-sized chunks. Reserve the bacon grease for another use, such as bacon-flavored popcorn!
When the potatoes are done, drain them. When they’re just cool enough to handle, cut each lengthwise and place in a bowl. Dress potatoes with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Fold in the celery and leaves, arugula. Add the bacon if serving immediately, otherwise hold off on adding it until chow time for optimal crispness.
Serves 6-ish. Or two at a picnic and in several lunches throughout the week.