Finally, we’re here. Summer. The anticipation for these long and lazy days has been building and even more intense this year due to the prolonged school year thanks to snow days. But we’re here and we are doing it right. Lazy mornings with coffee and a good book on the deck, assembled dinners of cherries, cheese and crackers on the lawn, many dreamy plans for camping trips, hikes and an epic road trip that will take us through at least five states. And of course lots of cooking over the fire.
This simple dish felt right to share this week as we celebrate our nation with gatherings, bbq’s and fireworks. Many of those gatherings often include some version of a potato salad and this one, while a far cry from the classic, is my current favorite.
The ingredient list is short, which is how I like my summer cooking, but the flavor is rich, intense and complex. I give credit to the smokey charred flavor that imparts the potatoes when they are cooked over flame.
The potatoes are boiled just until tender and if you’d like to really wow your guests, boil the potatoes in a salty brine of water and vinegar. Once boiled and cooled the potatoes are smashed which exposes the soft set interior and gives the fire more opportunity for char.
Finally the potatoes are tossed in creme fraiche then capped with toasted black sesame seeds and flake salt. For a version that is truly over the top I suggest adding the salty punch of salmon roe. Or a hearty shower of minced chives is also nice.
Happy summer, friends. What do those long and lingering days look like for you all? And if you have road trip suggestions and destinations for Idaho, Montana, Utah and New Mexico do please let us know!
Grilled Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Black Sesame Salt
Add 1 cup vinegar to the water you boil the potatoes in for a bright bite.
For the smashing of the potatoes I find it best to place the warm potatoes on a sheet tray then top with another sheet tray and press down firmly. Or if I'm being completely honest with you sometimes I step on the sheet tray (which I then wash very carefully). On the camp site it's easy to smash the potatoes between two heavy cast iron pans.
1 lbs small new potatoes, boiled in heavily salted water until just tender, then smashed to roughly 1/2 inch thickness
⅓ cup Creme fraiche
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons Maldon (or similar) Flake salt
Grill the smashed potatoes over hot fire or on a grill until charred on both sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side.
While warm stir in the creme fraiche and top with black sesame seeds and flake salt.
If not serving straight away, refrigerate. Although it's best eaten straight away while warm or just room temperature.