I made another tater salad yesterday for a friend’s wedding reception.
It started with me lusting after fingerlings at the Mpls Farmer’s Market. I found some nice purple taters at an end booth, which I bought with another basket (two for $5) and then wandered back to the booth with the bestest looking fingerlings in the Farmer’s Market (not the Annex). I was torn between the baby fingerlings (PIA to cut up) and the, err, more mature fingerlings, which would require considerably less whacking to cut to nice slices. Like any good size queen, I went for the big ones — one basket o’ white fingerlings and one basket o’ red fingerlings (again, two for $5).
At home, I asked someone for a stock pot to cook the taters in, and realized that I had a fucking lot o’ taters, and I either needed the bigger stock pot or cook less. I went for the bigger stock pot, threw in the red and the white fingerlings, some thyme, and set a timer for fifteen minutes and five minutes, when I wanted to throw in the smaller purple fingerlings. At the five minute mark, I threw in the purples. At the fifteen minute mark, I poked a big white fingerling, and reset one of the timers for five more minutes. At the twenty minute mark, I dumped them in a colander and cooled them under cold running water, until I could start slicing them up. I layered them with a mixture of colors, salt, fresh tarragon, thyme, dill, olive oil, vermouth, and leek cooked in olive oil. I had a small bowl o’ taters left over that went in the fridge. When I was done, it was time to brave a trip to the Uptown Lunds, sitting the heart of the Uptown Art Fair for the lemons I forgot to get and for the garlic that I had to get after I discover mine had gone south along with a rather rotten onion in the bottom of the onion bowl.
So, after braving the streets o’ Uptown, I smashed some peppercorns, an allspice berry that I plucked out of a hundred year old mixed pickling spice jar, and three cloves of garlic with some salt. That all went into a bowl, rinsed out with vodka. (Did I mention I’m not really in love with my vermouth? And that I can’t get Cinzano no more? Yes, I help buy umbrellas for every bar in Europe when I can.) A nice squeeze of Sriracha, mustard de meaux, the zest and juice of three large lemons, and over the taters it went. I finally remembered to cut up some parsley as well. Then I cut a bunch of garlic chives and separated out the blossoms, cut some leaves up and tossed on the top after adjusting the lemon and salt. I stuck the two-foot tall blossoms at the back of the tater salad — it was wedding reception, after all. (At least I thought it was pretty funny.)
My arrival, somewhat botched by Google Maps sending me on a wild goose chase and the Minnesota summer road construction season, late as it was due to the shopping trip, and not, I’m sure, to the glasses of cheap vermouth I downed while making the salad, nor err, resting my eyes afterwards. I came back with a wee bit o’ salad. I left the flower spikes littering the lawn. It wasn’t the Green Garlic with three heads, but it got a bunch o’ compliments, and it got et.