Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Potato Salad with Warm Pancetta Dressing

Whew, can that name get any longer? It's fitting though, because this potato salad is chock full of delicious flavors - you can't pick just one to put in the title! I have been looking into making a warm, non-mayo based potato salad for awhile now; because I know some people don't like mayo, and the concept of a warm salad with a vinegar-y dressing sounded very interesting.

And I am glad I chose this one to start with. I made a lot of modifications because I felt like so much more could be done with the original recipe. If you can't find pancetta, you can certainly use the same amount of bacon; just don't cook it originally in the tablespoon of butter. There is enough fat in the bacon itself, and just add the missing tablespoon of butter in with the rest of it.

Also, I have found that goat cheese has a very low melting temperture, so add it once everything has cooled slightly if you want to keep the crumbly texture. I can't wait to make this again soon!

Goat cheese and red pepper potato salad with Warm pancetta dressing
adapted from Food & Wine
Makes 6-8 side dish servings

2 pounds fingerling or Yukon Gold new potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons butter
4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta or bacon, cut into 1/4" dice
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespooons sherry vinegar (balsamic is fine)
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 ounces goat cheese crumbles (or a 4 ounce log, crumbled by hand)

Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, and continue to cook over high heat until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat (just heat the skillet if you are using bacon). Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until browned, 3-5 minutes (then drain the fat if using bacon). Add the remaining tablespoons of butter, stirring occasionally, and cook until pancetta is cooked through and butter is just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until shallot is translucent. Remove from heat.

Whisk the vinegar and the mustard into the pancetta mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add to the potatoes, red peppers, basil and goat cheese (once cooled slightly) and gently toss until evenly coated. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Maria said...

I bet the goat cheese is really good in this salad!

Anonymous said...

YUM Colleen!! You seriously make the BEST side dishes!! This looks great.

Linds said...

This looks and sounds delicious. As a none-mayo lover, choices are slim for potato salads but this is something I would love!

Macaroni and Cheesecake said...

Looks wonderful! I love warm potato salads!

elly said...

Ummm whoa. This sounds SO good, especially for mayo haters & goat cheese lovers like myself. :)

Corrinne said...

YUM! This looks and sounds delicious. I work with Chavrie (the pyramid shaped goat cheese) and this is a great new twist on a classic potato salad. Fourth of July, perhaps?!
P.S. A quick tip that I find to be useful when crumbling goat cheese is to freeze it for about 15 min. beforehand. It makes it sooo much easier!

Kittybits said...

Holy goat cheese batman, that looks delicious. And keep the name long, it's enticing!

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks great!

Donna-FFW said...

LOVE the addition of the goat cheese.. looks terrific.

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Mmm - I love goat cheese, especially in salads and this looks fantastic!