Posts Tagged ‘potato’

Mostly Not Potato Salad

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

As a long-time fan of Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks blog, I was eager to get my hands on her newest cookbook, Simply Natural Every Day. This lovely book features the recipes Heidi makes often at home, and they are all straight-forward and approachable. While going through and trying to narrow down the recipes to make first, the “Mostly Not Potato Salad” jumped out at me. Unlike the usual bland, mayo-laden potato salads that are ubiquitous at summer picnics, this verdant salad uses potatoes as a background ingredient to crisp green vegetables. In Heidi’s version, celery and green beans star. As it is just asparagus season here (I told you I was hung up on asparagus), and green beans won’t be at market till later in the summer, I used it instead. I swapped the dill with parsley, as that’s what I had on hand. The original also calls for tofu, in which case you could even serve this as the entree on a summer Meatless Monday — I was serving it as a side to chicken, so I skipped the tofu.

The salad is dressed with caramelized leeks and a light vinaigrette. Let it stand for a while before serving, at room temperature. A warning to anyone who comes over, or invites us, for a cookout this summer: expect to see this on the menu. I can’t wait to try it with the yellow and purple beans from the market later in the season.

potato asparagus celery salad

Recipe: Mostly Not Potato Salad (with Asparagus & Celery)
slightly adapted from Simply Natural Every Day/via Whole Living, May 2011


  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural cane sugar
  • sea salt
  • 1 leek, white and tender green parts, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 small stalks celery, trimmed and diced

1. Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 9 minutes. Just before potatoes are done, add asparagus to the pot for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
2. Whisk mustard, vinegar, 2 teaspoons oil, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
3. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden and slightly crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Gently toss potatoes and asparagus, celery, parsley, and leeks with the mustard dressing in a bowl. Adjust salt if necessary. Serve at room temperature.

I’ve also made Heidi’s Oat Cakes from the book — my first time baking with coconut oil. Loved them. If you have the book, let me know what recipes you’ve enjoyed.

Eat Your Greens on St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The boy is having a St. Patrick’s Day party at Pre-K today, and of course everyone was asked to bring in something green. We were brainstorming ideas and the first thing that he came up with was peas. I have to say I was more than a little proud that he thought of naturally green things first, and vegetables at that — though it didn’t take long before he was asking for green cupcakes.

green veggies for st. patrick's day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s at home a little early with an “Irish” fondue party last weekend. I boiled potatoes, blanched broccoli and sliced raw green peppers. I was hoping that the cheese sauce would entice the boy to try the peppers, but no such luck. At any rate, if you’re struggling with green veggies in your house, sometimes a simple dip (hummus or homemade ranch) can make all the difference. And fondue — a warm, cheesy dip — is fun for the whole family.

Irish fondue

Recipe: Irish Fondue


  • 3/4 pound Landaff or Caerphilly cheese*
  • 1/4 pound Gruyere
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Irish ale (like Harp)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 clove garlic

Serve with: vegetables, raw or blanched, boiled potatoes, sliced apples or pears, and cubes of bread.

Instructions: Set up your fondue pot. If you have the kind with a glass pot that sits inside a larger metal pot, add boiling water to the larger pot and light the flame to keep it warm. (If you have an electric fondue pot, you can cook the cheese right in the pot. I don’t, so I started it on the stove.)

Cut your garlic clove in half and rub down the inside of a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Pour 1 cup beer into pan and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk flour into 2 tablespoons beer to make a smooth slurry.

When beer is warm, add shredded cheese, whisking until melted. Slowly whisk in flour/beer slurry, then let cook, stirring frequently, for a couple minutes, until thickened.  Pour into the fondue pot (the inner glass pot, in my case) and set over the flame to keep warm. You’ll want to stir the cheese periodically as you eat to keep it from hardening on the bottom.

*About the cheese: Landaff is a wonderful cheese made in New Hampshire that you may be able to find in Whole Foods. It’s an American version of the traditional Irish Caerphilly. If you can’t find either of those cheeses, try a mild cheddar (Dubliner of course is always good for St. Patrick’s Day).

Tips for Fondue with Kids:

  • Obviously this recipe does have alcohol — most cooks off while cooking. I haven’t tried this yet, but I suspect you may be able to make this recipe with sparkling apple cider if you prefer.
  • It may be easier to spoon some fondue into a small bowl for dipping — to avoid messes and burnt tongues!
  • Ask your kids for suggestions of what to dip — the boy asked for peanuts, so I added a small bowl of them to the spread. (And no, I don’t believe he actually dipped them, he’s just been on a peanut kick lately.)

Meatless Monday: Curried Squash Stew

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Have you heard of Meatless Monday? We don’t eat meat every night. When do eat meat, it’s local, hormone-free, free-range/grassfed, etc. So on the whole I’m not too concerned about the carbon footprint of our protein choices, but I do think it’s important to have a varied, balanced diet and would like to expand my meatless repertoire beyond pastas and quesadillas. So I’ll periodically be posting Meatless Monday recipes that emphasize beans, whole grains and other forms of protein. Please suggest your favorites, too!

This week’s recipe was inspired by the beautiful piece of fresh ginger and two small acorn squash we got in our CSA bag from Potomac Vegetable Farms. Butternut squash would be a little easier to work with here, as its smooth skin can be easily peeled eliminating the extra cooking step with the acorn squash. But use whichever you prefer. If you do use the acorn squash, reserve the shells for a fun serving dish with high kid-appeal.

curried squash stew in acorn squash bowls

Recipe: Curried Squash, Potato and Bean Stew

  • 2 medium-sized acorn squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 fingerling or banana potatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans,* rinsed and drained
  • cilantro, optional


If using acorn squash: Halve squash and remove seeds. Place cut side down on lightly-oiled baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until slightly soft. Cool, then scoop flesh out and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.

If using butternut squash: Peel, halve and remove seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch chunks and add to stew with the potatoes.

Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook 4-5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add ginger and cook 1 minute. Stir in seasonings and cook 1 additional minute. Add water, stir, then add potatoes and coconut milk to pan. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Add beans and acorn squash to pan and cook another 10 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.

Notes: I served this stew over brown rice. I intended to use garbanzo beans, but didn’t have any on hand so navy beans stood in instead. You can garnish with cilantro, but it’s actually some spinach from our CSA in the picture.

Get more Meatless Monday recipe ideas from Kim O’Donnel at True/Slant … and please leave a comment with any meatless recipes you’ve enjoyed recently!

Treats: Hanukkah Latkes

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

On the eight day of Chris[mukkuh] …

… a flashback to Hanukkah latkes. Yum!

At Market: Patriotic Potato Salad

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Despite the intense heat, the Alexandria markets were mobbed this weekend. I’m actually starting to prefer the West End Market over Del Ray, because DR is just too crowded this summer. And West End has more and cheaper fruit and berries. (Blueberries at Del Ray were $3.50/pt, while Papa’s at WE had them for $3/pt, $5.75/qt. or 2 qts./$11 – a savings of 75cents per pint!) You also get a wider variety by market hopping, as each farm has a slightly different growing schedule. Last week, I picked up Papa’s last two pints of blueberries and asked if that was the last of the season, but he said he’d have them for another week or two. His cherries then were labeled “last week,” so I was surprised that Toigo had them this week. One of the benefits of having farms from all around DC is that we get a longer range for most items — Virginia farms usually have things first, while Pennsylvania farmers keep bringing them for a few weeks longer.

In other Alexandria market news, Tom the Cheese Guy is headed to the Annapolis Great Grapes festival next weekend; his wife will be at the markets with only pre-cut portions of his aged cheeses. The honey stand is only coming once a month now due to winter losses this year, so if you missed them at Del Ray you’re out of luck until the 3rd weekend in August. But, Buzz Bakery keeps Virginia honey in stock in the meantime.

At Del Ray, I picked up white nectarines, peaches, tomatoes and jalapenos (D&S), sweet cherries (Toigo), blueberries, honey mushrooms, mozzarella.

At West End: apricots (last week) and blueberries (Papa’s Orchard, 2 qts./$11), cantaloupe, peppers, orange romas, sweet plums and ramp mustard (Bigg Riggs), waterlemon jelly (Crackpot Gourmet, watermelon & lemongrass).

On the menu – One Local Summer Supper: Saturday night, my in-laws were in town so I cooked a fairly simple, all-local dinner of chimichurri flank steak, buttermilk & herb marinated chicken breast, tomato mozzarella salad and potato salad. I used my patriotic potatoes from Bigg Riggs Farm (WV, 117mi.) in a German-style salad. I picked up Bigg Rigg’s ramp mustard, at Tiffany‘s recommendation (check out her story of visiting Bigg Rigg’s last week!), and will definitely try this again using that mustard. Since I made this Saturday, I had to make do with non-local Guldens. Incidentally, red and blue potatoes are more pink and purple when cooked, so this would make a great summer bridal or baby shower dish as well…

Recipe: Patriotic Potato Salad


  • 6 cups new potatoes, washed and cut into large chunks
  • 1 sm sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c brown mustard
  • 1/2 c cider vinegar
  • 1 t corn starch*
  • 1 t plus 1/4 c water
  • 2 T chopped fresh chives or parsley
  • salt & pepper


Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and reduce heat, simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are just tender when pricked with fork. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour olive oil in pan and saute onion over medium heat until translucent. Add mustard and vinegar. Stir cornstarch into 1 teaspoon water, then add to pot, along with additional 1/4 c water. Simmer for a minute until sauce thickens. Return potatoes to pan, stir to coat and add herbs, salt and pepper. Best served warm or at room temperature. Makes 6-8 servings.

*I recently discovered tapioca starch at my local natural foods store, which I used in place of the cornstarch.

For brunch on Sunday, we had the juiciest fruit salad of market-fresh cantaloupe, peaches and blueberries — plus bread with Waterlemon jelly, (deli) chicken salad, and leftover salads from the night before. Followed by … homemade cherry pie. Yum!