ENVIABLE BROWN BAG LUNCHES: Caesar Wrap with Tofu and Broccoli; Grilled Ratatouille; Teriyaki Soba Salad; Fried Chicken Salad with Black-Eyed Peas and Buttermilk Dressing
Hope Memorial Day was relaxing, warm, beachy–or whatever you wanted your three-day weekend to be. I hung out at the beach with my family, Alex, and Finn and a new game of ladder ball. With the exception of the ride out on the LIRR, where I was packed between my bike and about a million other commuters, it was perfect.
For lunch on the train, I packed a homemade Caesar salad–I can’t stop eating homemade Caesar since I made these–I tossed butter lettuce with the creamy dressing, Parm, celery, and some croutons. Hungry, I was shoveling it in when I noticed that the two women sitting diagonally across from me were pulling their lunch out of one of those Thermos bags.
Homemade fried chicken.
My favorite food in the world. I got serious food envy. And I got a little mad: my Caesar salad had seemed perfect, moments before. On twitter, @EatinistBitch advised that I “liberate a piece of their fried chicken and add it to your caesar salad.”
I’m too polite for that–I wish I had the guts though! And I’m never going to make myself homemade fried chicken and pack it in a lunchbox for the train. Really. That’s not really what’s at stake. The challenge is to make ever better and more satisfying lunches, like this filling potato salad, so that when food envy enters the picture it’s not mine.
I really love potato salads. This one has a mild vinaigrette, bits of bacon, chopped hardboiled egg, and tarragon. It is enviable–both for brown bag lunches and–doubled or tripled–as an awesome side dish for any main you make on the grill during the summer weekends ahead!
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Potato Salad with Bacon, Egg, and Tarragon Dressing
Serves 1 for lunch or 2 as a side
I’ve having a moment where I love creamy salad dressings way more than tangy vinaigrettes. My remedy here is to use some fresh orange juice in the dressing instead of all lemon juice and vinegar. Gives it a lovely mildness.
For the salad:
1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 slices bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
1 stalk celery, cut in half lengthwise then chopped
Extra fresh thyme for garnish
A few handfuls fresh greens
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon dijon dressing
1 small clove garlic, minced with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
About 6 tablespoons olive oil
Place the egg in a small pot of cold water. Bring to a boil with lid on. Turn off the water and set a timer for 10 minutes. Remove the egg and put it in a small bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes. Peel and cut into a 1/4-inch dice.
Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to boil. Add salt and put the potatoes in. Cook for 10 minutes, until the potato cubes are cooked through. Drain and return to the pot.
Add the bacon and celery and about half the dressing. Toss. Add the eggs and some fresh pepper and toss. Taste for salt, adding more as needed. You can add more dressing too.
Arrange the greens on a plate. Drizzle with a little dressing. Mound the potato salad on top and sprinkle with extra fresh thyme.