Grilled Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Black Sesame Salt

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.

Ingredients

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 

Instructions

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.

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Whole Grain Linguine with Salmon and Asparagus

*This post is proudly created in partnership with Barilla.  May was Mediterranean Diet Month which was just ranked #1 best overall diet for the second year in a row. So this recipe was inspired by this special Month. Lucky for us pasta plays an important role in that diet. So really, it’s a diet I can get behind all year long.

 

If you could peer into the window on a weeknight in our home you’d probably see pasta on the table. And if you are peering through the window, just come on in because we would love to have you join us.

Pasta is my go-to weeknight meal when the cupboards and fridge are starting to look bare. I’ll often start by thinking about what vegetables I have and want to use with the pasta, from there I may add a protein sometimes in the form of an egg stirred into the sauce or the finished plate topped with a soft boiled egg. There is always some form of cheese and loads of fresh herbs.

To celebrate Mediterranean Diet Month Barilla asked if I would create a pasta using their “Italian Recipe Builder”. I realized that this beautifully illustrated flow chart is basically the same process that happens when it’s pasta for dinner. Using this chart you can create hundreds of different pasta recipes. I tend to add a bit more cheese but I don’t think the Italians mind. These are the sort of recipes I love. The ones that leave plenty of room for creativity and feel both comforting and virtuous.

I’m usually a purist when it comes to pasta but I really enjoyed the nutty heartiness from the whole grain linguine. If fresh salmon isn’t available smoked salmon works beautifully. Feel free to use dill or parsley in place of the chives.

 

Whole Grain Linguine with Salmon and Asparagus

Yield 6-8 servings

Ingredients

1 12 ounce box Barilla Whole Grain Linguine

Sea salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup shallot

12 ounces cubed salmon

2 cups roughly chopped asparagus

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup chopped chives

Instructions

Cook the pasta in heavily salted water then cook one minute less than the package directions. While the pasta cooks add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium high heat. Sauté the shallot under tender and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the salmon and cook until opaque on the outside, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the asparagus and a heavy pinch or two of salt. Cook until the asparagus is just cooked through.

Carefully stir in the pasta with 1/3 cup pasta water. Stir in the Parmesan. Add more pasta water if needed.

Finish with chives then taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

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