Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Caramelized Leeks, Goat Cheese and Asparagus

My sister-in-law and I exchange cookbook gifts frequently. We both love to cook and share with each other. I especially love our family dinners because we have so much fun in the kitchen together. We usually enjoy a glass of champagne in celebration of the occasion!

This year, for my birthday, she gave me the Cahoots Cookbook. Cahoots is a catering company on California's Central Coast. The book is filled with their catering company's most requested recipes.

I was really curious about their recipe for Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Caramelized Leeks, Goat Cheese and Asparagus. This is a recipe that is prepared each year at the "Not Your Average Backyard Barbecue" event at the Tobin James Cellars'. It is the kickoff to summer in the wine country. That said, my expectations for this salad were high!

Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Caramelized Leeks, Goat Cheese and Asparagus

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and rinsed (about 2 cups)
4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes,
3 stalks celery, rinsed, patted dry, chopped
1 pound fresh asparagus (about 1 bunch)
1-2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

1. In an 8 quart saucepan or stock pot add the potatoes. Cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a knife.


2. In a small saucepan bring one quart of water to a boil. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Add to the boiling water and blanch until just tender, about two minutes.


3. In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add sliced leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to brown lightly and caramelize. Set aside.

4. Cut cooked potatoes into 1-inch pieces and put into mixing bowl. Add celery, asparagus, tarragon, chives, goat cheese and caramelized leeks. Toss lightly to mix.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss until well mixed, but don't over mix.

Serves 12-14

PRINTABLE RECIPE

The flavors were well-balanced, initially. As the flavors melded, waiting until serving time, the tarragon took over! By the time the salad was served that evening, the tarragon had over-powered all of the other ingredients. I would definitely recommend cutting back on the fresh tarragon....a little goes a long way! Next time, I will start with a tablespoon and adjust to taste.  I adjusted the recipe above to reflect that.

I know that I will continue making this salad. I loved all of the ingredients! I just need the right balance of herbs. I will also consider substituting basil or thyme after I figure out the right balance using the tarragon!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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