My pal Pierre A Lamielle and his partner, Candace, are out to prove that food on your shirt is not a bad thing. They just launched Food on Your Shirt, a new line of food-inspired shirts last week, and they’re already a hot commodity – W is particularly fond of the “In Case of Fire, Roast Marshmallows” tee.
His book is brilliant, he’s brilliant, and pretty good at this cheffing thing too. (He’s like trained, for real, in New York City and all that.) He made an awesome warm potato salad for an event awhile ago, and shared the recipe. I didn’t take a photo, because I’m not always on the ball like that… but if you make it, you’ll know what it looks like. Also? It’s potato salad – doesn’t leave much to the visual imagination.
The difference here is that he uses celeriac – completely different from celery, it’s a gnarly, ugly root that is most often bypassed in grocery stores, but once you peel the outer brownness away, it’s tasty, crunchy, and reminiscent of celery (they are related, after all) and jicama inside. Perfect for potato salad, raw or not. He made this for a wintry picnic, but our summer has turned out a little wintry… and it’s just as delish when it’s hot and summery. Warmth brings out the flavours of anything – including potato salad, which is typically served icebox-cold and laden with mayo. This will help you break out of a potato salad rut, if you’re in one you want out of.
Pierre’s Warm Potato Salad
Excerpted from Kitchen Scraps: A Humourous Illustrated Cookbook, by Pierre A Lamielle (Whitecap)
It sure gets cold in the winter. But that shouldn’t stop you from going on a romantic picnic. Instead of cold potato salad, pack this German-style potato salad with yummy bacon, potatoes, celeriac, and dill pickles served warm to keep you snug and satisfied. Cuddle on—or under—a warm fuzzy blanket with a snuggle buddy… and don’t be surprised if your next picnic is a family picnic.
1 large celeriac
4 large waxy potatoes
3 large dill pickles
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 clove garlic
6 slices thick-cut bacon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
Peel the celeriac by cutting off the top and bottom. Lay it on a flat side, and use your big knife to trim the gnarly skin off the sides. Peel your potatoes. Cut the potatoes and celeriac into approximately 1 1/2- to 2- inch cubes. Place them in a large pot and fill it up with cold water. (Do not salt the water.)
Get the pot on high heat, and while it comes to a boil prep the rest of the salad. The celeriac will float to the top, but that’s cool.
Cut the pickles into large rounds the size of the potato chunks. Chop the dill. Zest and juice the lemon into the same bowl. Mince the shallots and garlic.
When the water just starts to boil, you can start the bacon. Lay out your 6 slices of bacon in a very large cold pan and place the pan onto medium heat. Drizzle in the oil and let the fat render out of the bacon.
Back to the potatoes. Check for doneness by taking out a big piece of potato from the bottom of the pot and cutting it or biting into it. You’ll know it needs more cooking if it’s raw and crunchy. Don’t worry about checking the celeriac, as celeriac a little undercooked is fine, and you can’t really overcook it either.
When the potatoes and celeriac are ready, drain them into a colander and let them sit for 10 minutes until they have released a lot of their excess moisture.
When the bacon is crispy, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
In the bacon fat add the shallots, garlic, and butter. When the shallots are soft, add the potatoes and celeriac. Toss to coat, and then sprinkle in the lemon juice and zest. Salt and pepper generously. Transfer to a bowl and gently mix in the pickles, dill, sour cream, and mustard. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on top.
Serves yourself and 7 hungry friends.