Grill some potatoes this weekend

Published 12:54 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day weekend is here and summer will soon be in full swing. I have begun thinking about grilling since every new food magazine has tons of articles about how best to grill.

Something new was grilling potatoes. The grilling lends a charred sweetness and smoky flavor to all kinds of potatoes—whether tiny fingerlings, Yukon Golds, or even sweet potatoes. These potatoes can be a base for salads that include other ingredients with big, bold flavors.

For great grilled potato salads, par-cook the potatoes. It is some extra work, but parboiling in well-salted water has a few advantages: It lets you cook them on the grill just long enough to develop nice grill marks without drying out the potatoes, so they’ll be fluffy on the inside like a good French fry, with a golden, slightly charred outside. The salt in the water also softens the potatoes.

So for my Memorial Day feast I am grilling salmon. The potatoes will be par-cooked and then tossed in wine and some chicken broth before putting on the grill. Lentils are included in this recipe with some mustard cream. Yum!

Enjoy this healthy Memorial Day meal off the grill.


From ‘Fine Cooking’ June/July 2016

Grilled Potato, Salmon, and Lentil Salad with Mustard Cream

Serves 6 as a main course.


For the lentils:

3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 Tbs. olive oil

½ cup finely chopped diced carrot

½ cup finely diced celery (I have a celery leaf plant that I am using for celery flavor.)

½ cup finely diced leek (white and light-green parts only)

½ cup French green lentils (lentils du Puy)

2 cups lower-salt chicken broth or water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Mustard-Cream

1 cup crème fraiche

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. whole-grain Dijon mustard

½ tsp. honey

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Potatoes and Salmon

2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced ½ inch thick

Kosher salt

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup lower-salt chicken broth

1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot

12 oz. salmon fillet; preferably skin on

2 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper

1 oz. baby greens for garnish (I use our nearly ever-present arugula that constantly reseeds itself in the garden.)


Cook the lentils

Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf in a square of cheesecloth secured with kitchen twine.

Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and leek, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lentils, chicken broth, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, and the herb bundle. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and then spread the lentils on a rimmed baking sheet to cool quickly. (The lentils may be cooked up to 2 days head; cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before serving.)


Make the Mustard Cream

In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, both mustards, the honey, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Par-cook the Potatoes

Put the potatoes and 2 Tbs. salt in a 4-quart saucepan, and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for 5 minutes; the potatoes will still be a little hard in the center. Drain and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the wine and chicken broth over the hot potatoes and sprinkle with the shallot. Let sit, turning once or twice, for at least 30 minutes and up to eight hours; cover and refrigerate if holding more than 2 hours.


Grill the Potatoes and the Salmon

Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. (We have never gone gas but use wood charcoal that can be lit without any starter-fluid.)

Brush the salmon generously with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and grill, flipping once, until barely opaque in the center, 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, flipping once, until tender and nicely marked, 5 to 7 minutes.



Flake the salmon into large pieces. Spread half of the mustard sauce on a large platter or divide it among plates. Arrange the potatoes, salmon, and lentils on the sauce. Top with greens and serve with the remaining mustard cream on the sice.