Warm Potato Salad with Fennel and Garlic Mayonnaise

-Chop 1.5# of unpeeled potatoes into 1 inch chunks.  

-Dice up 1 fennel bulb.  

-Boil the potatoes and fennel together in salted water for about 5-7 minutes until just barely tender. It is important to watch potatoes closely as the secret to a good potato salad is firm potatoes.

-Toss potatoes and fennel with garlic mayonnaise (below) while still warm. 

-Sprinkle with some chopped basil or parsley and taste for salt.    


For the garlic mayonnaise:  

-In a blender chop 2-4 cloves of  garlic with some salt until smooth.

-Add a whole egg, a pinch of salt and ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil into the blender and blend on high.

-Add another ½ cup olive oil in a light steady stream until all is incorporated.

-Then add 3 TBS fresh lemon juice.

-Stir the garlic into the mayonnaise and thin with more lemon juice if necessary.

Twice Baked Potatoes with Smoked Salmon and Chives

-Put an oven rack in the upper middle position in your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

-Scrub and dry 4 medium sized russet potatoes.

-Poke 2-3 holes in each potato with a sharp paring knife.

-Lightly rub with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.

-Bake until the skins are crispy, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

-Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Using an oven mitt cut the hot potatoes in half.

-Let sit for 10 minutes to cool, then using a teaspoon carefully scoop the potato out leaving a ¼-½ inch thickness in each shell.

-Arrange the empty potato halves on the baking sheet.

-Turn your broiler on if it takes time for it to warm up.

-Mash the potato with a fork until moderately smooth.

-Add ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt, ¼ cup milk, 2 TBS butter, ½ tsp salt and ground pepper to taste.

-Stir in 4 ounces crumbled smoked salmon and 3 TBS chopped chives. Lightly blend.

-Scoop a mound of the filling into each potato and then poke 1-2, ½-inch cubes of mozzarella cheese in each mound of filling (optional).

-Cook under the broiler for 10-15 minutes until brown.

Roasted Potatoes, Fennel and Watermelon Radishes with Lemon Brown Butter Sauce

-Heat the oven to 450°F.

-Cut 1 pound of potatoes in quarters lengthwise, then in eights.

-Toss with 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil in a large bowl and a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper.

-Spread the potatoes on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until barely tender.

-Meanwhile, trim the tops and bottoms of the radishes, and quarter them lengthwise.

-Peel 1 watermelon radish.

-Cut into slices, then large matchsticks.

-Trim off the top and bottom of 1 fennel bulb and slice in half lengthwise, then quarter each half and cut the quarters into pieces about 1-inch-wide.

-Toss the fennel pieces and radishes in the bowl with another TBS of olive oil and salt and pepper.

-When the potatoes are just beginning to get tender, spread the radishes and fennel on the baking sheet and toss to combine.

-Return the vegetables to the oven and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the fennel and radishes are tender and juicy but not yet soft.

-While they are roasting, heat ¼ cup unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until it melts and then browns.

-Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the following:

½  lemon juiced, about 1½ TBS

½ tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp maple syrup

-When the vegetables are done, toss with the sauce and spread on a platter or in a bowl.

-Serve immediately.


Potato and Rutabaga Gratin

-Heat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a 2.5-quart oval gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a small sauce pan add the following:

1.5 cups heavy cream

3 sprigs thyme or sage

-Bring to just under a boil over medium low heat.

-Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes.

-Strain through a fine sieve and discard solids.

-Peel 1 pound of potatoes and 1 rutabaga.

-Slice both as thinly as possible.

-Arrange the vegetable slices in an overlapping fashion in the baking dish, alternating them and seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground pepper as you go.

-Dot with 3 TBS butter.

-Pour cream over top (it should almost cover the vegetables; add up to 1/2 cup more if necessary) and cover tightly with parchment-lined foil.

-Bake until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes more.