|Lemon-Arugula Potato Salad|
Spring has arrived!! This coming long weekend we are anticipating visits to local wineries that are just opening for the season, a maple syrup festival in the downtown core, and long bike rides to kick that "winter flab" to the curb. Our minds may have one foot heavily into Spring, but, our farmers markets are empty of local produce.
To revitalize our tastebuds the arrival of lemons could not be more timely. Lemons are grown year-round with a peak harvest in the winter months. They are available all year but their sunny cheerful colour seems to have me doing a Spring happy dance more than ever. These vibrant, yellow citrus fruits bring a tangy flavour and tart fragrance to daily dishes, where its' cheery, refreshing presence dresses leafy salads and serves as a light marinade to my Spring and Summer pasta dishes. From cakes and biscotti to sautéed meats and vegetables, a little lemon goes a long way. Quite possibly as popular and widely used as simple spices like salt and pepper in my kitchen, lemon juice and zest have found their place in Mediterranean cuisine and my kitchen.
This salad is not your everyday mayonnaise based salad, but, instead has layered flavours of olive oil, grainy mustard and peppery arugula. A perfect picnic dish for the first weeks of Spring!!
**Lemon-Arugula Potato Salad**
7 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 3 small) or 1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups loosely packed arugula
Place potato pieces in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and gently simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes.
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Combine shallots, vinegar, mustard, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until combined. Drizzle dressing over warm potatoes; toss gently to coat. Cool completely.
Add arugula to potato mixture; toss gently. Serve immediately.