I love summer. It really is the best time of year. The heat, the humidity, the sun, the fresh vegetables – heaven! The only downside I can think of is that it is usually (hopefully!) too nice to want to spend much time in the kitchen. I want to be at the pool, in the garden or playing bocce with friends. When I do step into the kitchen I want to create meals that are fast, seasonal and adaptable. Like potato salad. Now I’m not talking the mayonnaise loaded salad of our youth but a fresh, zingy, loaded with vegetables one that is a full on meal in a bowl.
Now there are probably as many variations of potato salad as there are people. I love a simple one of new potatoes, a bit of olive oil, white wine vinegar and fresh dill. I’ve had an unforgettable Hungarian one that was mashed and filled with indescribable secret ingredient deliciousness. The nice thing is, it is hard to go wrong. Heck, you don’t even have to make your own dressing or chop your own vegetables – just toss some boiled potatoes with store bought salad dressing, and precut veggies or greens. Maybe get really fancy and add a hard boiled egg, some barbeque chicken or some garbanzo beans for protein. Potato salad truly can be as simple or as gourmet as you want it to be.
So with long weekend picnics, potlucks and eating outside in mind here is one variation to get you started. However you prepare it, make it early in the morning or late at night when the kitchen is cooler, toss it in the fridge and then grab it later for a picnic on the beach or for a barbeque with friends.
1 lb. new or fingerling potatoes
3 green onions, chopped
1T. chives, chopped
3-5 radishes, chopped
Mixed chopped herbs (thyme, oregano, tarragon) or fresh dill.
1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds
Optional: chopped kale, arugula, celery, carrot or corn
1/2 cup white wine or chive vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, pureed
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
Boil potatoes. Cook until a fork easily pokes through, but doesn’t break, the potato.
While potatoes are cooking, mix the vinaigrette (just use an empty jar) and chop any vegetables you plan to add.
Rinse potatoes in cold water and place in a large bowl.
Toss with vinaigrette (you may have some leftover) and vegetables.
Eat immediately while the potatoes still have a hint of warmth or let sit, covered in the fridge, ideally for at least an hour, to let the flavours meld.
Now pack up that picnic basket and get on outside and enjoy the summer!