So you can imagine my utmost delight when I attended Slow Food Madison’s annual Celebrate Autumn event on Sunday and one of the featured dishes of the afternoon was potato salad.
Slow Food Madison has hosted an autumn event for the past three years at the Jane and Andy Crawford farm near New Glarus. Chef Tracey Vowell – for many years the managing chef of the famous Frontera Grill kitchen in Chicago — comes up every year with an amazing menu consisting of a different slow-roasted meat, soup, salad, bread, various sides and dessert from ingredients mostly found locally.
While everyone was ooohing and ahhing over the slow roasted goat – and let me just say that yes, it was good, as it had been cooked in a below-ground fire pit right on the farm – the highlight of the meal was for me: potato salad.
This was no ordinary potato salad. It featured fresh baby red potatoes, Butler Farms Farmstead Sheep’s Milk Feta (I didn’t even know Janet was making a sheep’s milk feta — good to know), piquillo peppers, carrots & onion, dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and green onions.
Wowsers. This was the best potato salad ever. I actually scored my own serving bowl and just kept it within arm’s reach. In fact, this may be the first and only potato salad that was worth sacrificing dessert for — and it was a fruit compote with Basque-style creme anglaise flavored with cinnamon (it should be noted that I didn’t actually sacrifice dessert, but I should have, as I wasn’t hungry until about noon on Monday).
This was also a potato salad worth freezing my tush off, as it was about 50 degrees and raining the entire time we sat sideways on a hill on folding chairs in an open-sided tent. No worries, however, as my friend Sue had brought along a pair of winter gloves. Luckily she is left-handed and I am right-handed, so we each donned a glove on our non-eating hand. It pays to have left-handed friends.
Sue and I also decided that we should have brought containers for the extra food, but then decided that probably would have been tacky. But just let me say that if this potato salad is served next year, I’m pulling a ziploc bag out of my purse and saving some for later. I don’t care how many dirty looks I get — don’t get between me and good potato salad, especially one that includes fresh farmstead sheep’s milk feta.