Salivating over my dinner plans

Perhaps it is because I worked in the yard earlier, iPeriod is screaming that I have 5 DAYS LEFT, or I just know these recipes are yum, but I am starving right now and cannot wait for dinner.

I absolutely love truffles and truffle oil. I will never forget a lunch I had in Cortona, Italy, (I made Tom, my sister and her bf schlep there to see the Under the Tuscan Sun house and wouldn’t you know that the house on the cover of the book was NOT the same house in which Frances lived and wrote!?). Good lord. Despite the grandeur of the setting and the overall wonderfulness of being in Italy, this was a bit of a letdown to be honest.

Anyway, prior to walking a long ways to find said house, we had the most fabulously flavorful trattoria lunch. I had fresh tagliatelle with truffles, and I swear I didn’t think I’d ever taste anything as good again. Not to mention that who can afford actual truffles??? So, I make do with white truffle oil which is pretty awesome. Try drizzling it over a hot mixed mushroom-fontina-sage pizza. RiDICulous!

Tonight, however, I’m doing a pasta, cheating by using “exotic mushroom ravioli” from Whole Foods but stirring in sauteed mixed mushrooms, grating parm or pecorino over the top and then drizzling my truffle oil over for the final touch. Insanely easy but with every mouthful, you just have to take a pause, close your eyes, and thank someone for mushrooms, truffles and good cheese.

I am also going to make mayo-free potato salad, a la Mark Bittman. Anyone had his potato salad for adults before (that’s what he calls it; I’m not being snarky)? It is so good I could eat it every day, especially when I have fresh potatoes from the farmers market as I do right now. I do not like mayo except if it’s in tuna-, chicken- or lobster-salad, and even then, it better be nothing more than a binder. Bleck!

MB’s Potato Salad With Capers, Shallots and Mustard

Serves 3 to 4 [can be doubled—probably a good idea, in fact]

1-1/2 pounds small red potatoes (You can use white, yellow or purple too)
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 teaspoons whole grain mustard
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup capers [chopped if large]
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots [about 1 medium]
2/3 cup roughly chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Scrub the potatoes and place in a large pot and cover by two inches with cold water. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just cooked, 10 to 15 minutes. When you can pierce them easily with a fork, they’re done. Drain in a collander and set it in the top of the pot to let them cool slightly.

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice together in a small bowl. As soon as the potatoes are cooled enough to handle [but only just—you want this dish warm], slice them into halves and place them in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing again to combine, drizzle it over the potatoes and stir gently with a wooden spoon to coat potatoes. Add the capers, shallots and parsley to the bowl and stir gently to combine. Adjust seasonings with salt [if needed] and pepper. Serve immediately. When you do, note that the capers and bits of shallot will want to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Make sure to spoon some over each serving.