Soup and Salad
When it comes to potatoes, there aren’t many tuber techniques we won’t at least try once. That includes one that has become a summer side favorite over the years … Potato Salad with Lemon, Rosemary & Pancetta. This potato salad pairs perfectly with everything from Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken to Mr. C’s Grilled Flank Steak.
Try to use a Meyer lemon, which has a nice sweet, lemony flavor that you won’t get from a regular lemon. We are fortunate that the neighbor’s lemon tree hangs over into our yard, providing Meyer lemons for most of the year.
As for the rosemary, if you have room in your garden plant a Barbecue Rosemary which has strong, straight stems perfect for skewering and barbecuing. I have had my plant for years, and it grows about four feet tall over the summer after pale blue flowers bloom in the spring. So fragrant!
Bonus: the stems are long enough to use as filler in floral arrangements. (How very Martha Stewart-ish of me!)
This potato salad is light and bright because it is made with a good quality olive oil instead of mayo. The lemon brightens up the dish; the fresh rosemary puts it over the top. And, of course, when it comes to pancetta, like Tom says, “Everything’s betta with a little pancetta!”
4 ounces diced pancetta
1 fresh Meyer lemon, zested and juiced (you will need ¼ cup juice)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 pounds Yukon Gold or Baby Gold potatoes (scrubbed and unpeeled)
3 large celery sticks, thinly sliced (reserve ends for garnish)
2 tablespoons chopped large leaf Italian parsley
Place scrubbed potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer with lid ajar until tender, 18 to 25 minutes, depending on size of potatoes. Drain; let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, rosemary, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices, removing the skins as you cut. (Tip: A serrated bread knife does a good job of slicing the potatoes without crushing them.) Place in a large bowl and add celery.
Reserve 1/3 cup of the dressing for serving (store in refrigerator until ready to use). Drizzle remaining dressing over the potatoes and celery; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the pancetta until crispy and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside for garnish.
Sprinkle pancetta and chopped parsley over potato salad to serve. Garnish with celery ends if desired.
MAKE AHEAD: Pancetta and potato salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover pancetta and refrigerate. Keep potato salad chilled. Bring pancetta to room temperature before continuing.
Makes 8 servings.