Grilled Potato Salad with Leek + Jalapeño Vinaigrette
The best time to celebrate is whenever you can… but it’s even better when you have an extended weekend, a handful of warm days left to spend by the pool and plenty of propane in the gas tank. That means, if you are not a die-hard midwesterner finding ways to grill, despite an insane snow storm, the legit days of summer are coming to an end. My heart is breaking!
Yes, if you are wondering. I have officially grilled during a snowstorm. Six months stuck inside is far too long not to find crazy ways to break out the grill and reminisce of warmer days. However, I highly recommend not making your garage the place to grill. Coupled with the high risk of starting your entire house on fire, smoke stops at nothing to invade your home and stay there all winter long.
Luckily, here in CA, we don’t struggle with that set back. Grilling can take place all year long! However, just like wearing white pants, grilling seems like a faux pas after Labor Day, doesn’t it?
Who am I kidding, you can never have enough grilling throughout the year! If our grill was not down 3 flights of stairs and located in the center of our apartment complex, I would grill every night.
I have this strange phobia of being grossed out with that “cooked-food smell” in the house after dinner has been served and things are cleaned up. It freaks me out, so grilling is right up my alley!
Since Labor Days is only a handful of days away, it’s safe to say a lot of you will be finding ways to grill out and soak up the last bit of summer sun before Fall rolls in, am I right?
Well, this dish will fit right in with your grilling extravaganza… and we’ve paired it with massive, Flintstone-style steaks. These bad boys mean business and will easily feed two people.
Wishing all of you an AMAZING, fun and very safe Labor Day!!! With love from my kitchen to yours.
- 1 1/2 lbs. mixed fingerling or baby potatoes
- Sea salt
- 2 leeks, roots and dark green ends trimmed and discarded.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Nanami Togarashi ( assorted chili pepper), available at Japanese markets.*
- 1 small jalapeno, cut in half, seeded and thinly sliced.
- Sauce pan
- Chef knife
- Grill brush
- Large bowl
- Citrus juicer
- In a large saucepan, bring water, a generous pinch of salt, and potatoes to a boil. Turn heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and allow potatoes to cool. Cut in half lengthwise.
- Light a grill. Brush leeks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until charred and tender. Transfer to a plate and lightly cover with plastic wrap to steam for 5 minutes. Cut leeks into 1 ½ inch lengths and then slice lengthwise into thick matchsticks. Set aside.
- Carefully toss potatoes in oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill potatoes, cut-side-down, on medium high heat, until lightly charred. About 5 minutes. Set aside on a plate..
- In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice and Nanami Togarashi. Add the leeks and potatoes. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve potato salad in a large serving bowl. Top with thinly sliced jalapenos and a dash of Nanami Togarashi. Serve potato salad warm or at room temperature.
- Wine Pairing: We sipped on a great bottle of 2012 Ridge Vineyard Mill Zinfandel. Really stood up to the grilled steak and smokiness of the potato salad. If you are not pairing this with steak, I recommend looking for wines with medium body—Côtes du Rhône, Barbera, Merlot, Chardonnay.
- * Nanami Togarashi is a spicy powdered assortment of dried chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. Add this flavorful seasoning to your noodle soup dishes or any other dish that needs an extra spice
Don’t forget the steak!!!
To make the steaks, remove from fridge.
Rub steaks with oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Yep, that’s it! I love a good old simple steak. You can also season the steak chopped rosemary, thyme, chili powder, paprika, and/or garlic powder.
Set steaks aside for 30 minutes to marinate and get closer to room temperature. This ensures even cooking.
Heat up your grill and bring to 350 – 400 degrees.
Place steaks on hot grill and cook until desired doneness is reached.
Using a meat thermometer, check for the following temperatures, based on how done you like your steaks:
Rare: 125°F – 130°F
Medium-Rare: 130°F – 135°F
Medium: 140°F – 145°F
Well-Done: 160° and higher
Remove from grill and lightly cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.