purples and blues in a whole new way ::::
Joblessness has afforded me three things: 1) impeccable dental hygiene; 2) an uncanny ability to recite, from memory, the items in and position of said items in my pantry; and 3) getting to know my neighbors on more than just a “hello” basis. As I brush, floss, fluoride rinse, and rinse again, I often consider my options. I have a pound of dried garbanzo beans on the second shelf of the cupboard to the right of the stove and a bunch of fresh Italian parsley in the crisper. There are four pounds of purple potatoes waiting to be mollycoddled. Gorgonzola in the cheese drawer. Maybe mix in some salty bacon and we’re in business for dinner! And we’ll have guests!
We are lucky that we have friends living mere steps away. Growing up, I remember this was commonplace in our neighborhood. Kelly, two years older than me and front-yard gymnastics mentor, lived diagonally and across the street. I’d just skip down the street and ring her doorbell, often greeted by her always sunny mother or friendly father. Except when the HUMONGOUS Golden Garden Spider that I was convinced was some direct relative of the Black Widow sat next to the doorbell, then I ran quickly home.
- 1 pound sliced meaty bacon*
- 2 yellow or sweet onions, diced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, perhaps a little more
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pounds purple potatoes, scrubbed**(skins on or off, you decide -- see note)
- ½ cup good-quality mayonnaise
- ½ pound blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, crumbled (a good goat cheese could work here, too)***
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the bacon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until they are brown and crisp, about 15 minutes (watch carefully). Transfer the bacon slices to paper towel-lined plates to drain. Crumble or cut into ½-inch pieces. Taste test crispness. Perhaps frequently.
- "Grill" your onions: Heat a pan on the stove top over high heat with approximately a tablespoon of olive oil (enough to cover the pan) to almost smoking. Cook onions, untouched, until just starting to char. Mix and char a little more, watching carefully, so all onion pieces have some blackened bits on them. Add a sprinkle of salt, turn heat to med-low, cover and allow to soften for a few minutes.
- If you want blue onions start this step hours to the night before. In a large pot of salted cold water, bring the potatoes to a boil. Simmer until they are beginning to get tender, (this depends on the size of your potatoes, so check with a fork). Drain the potatoes. Cool (but still warm) until okay to handle and skin them. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the potatoes while still warm with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (Remember, you will add the bacon later, which is also salty, so don't over-salt this step.) Add onions (and place in fridge if making ahead and wanting blue onions).
- In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the gorgonzola cheese. (I also save a few crumbles to add on top of the dish, as my photo shows.) Add the bacon and potatoes and toss to coat. Transfer the salad to a clean bowl and serve.