Welcome to another springy post! I've got to tell you (though it's still a little cool), it's pretty sweet here when the sun is out! The patio furniture is coming out this weekend and the new garden topsoil has (finally) settled. Even the outdoor hockey net is out in the lane again and I can hear the sounds of balls hitting the garage doors in my neighbourhood on weeknights.Life is (at last) happening all around, folks are getting outside, and spring is in full swing. Oh my! It's a good thing!
Spring brings with it the promise of summer, and warm evenings spent outside. With that, comes time for warm weather sides and salads, either to accompany the barbecue (for the carnivorous hubby) or just to have as they are (my way). Here is a lively potato salad to start the season of outdoor living featuring my favorite - the humble (and often maligned) potato! As a vegetarian (who eats little dairy and at times none), I've always been (just a little) saddened at the (IMO) unfair rap that poor old potatoes get from many fad diet doctrines out there.
These little gems that grow in even the poorest of soil are amazingly nutritious (especially the skins), easily available and totally dirt cheap considering some of the other foods we buy to eat well. High in easily digested healthy carbs, potatoes are filling, tasty, and super versatile. Bake them, steam them, roast them. Grate them, fry them (not my fave), or even dehydrate them (I once tried them as raw potato chips in my raw days - they were actually okay!). Here is a healthy way to enjoy these gluten-free darlings - without all the high-fat dairy-based toppings commonly associated with potatoes - this was a big hit at the office this week!
Lively Yellow Potato Salad:
- 6 cups yellow flesh potatoes, chopped with skin on (about 2.5#)
- (1) bunch dill, chopped
- (1) red pepper, chopped
- (1) 398ml can artichoke hearts (5 each)
- (1/2) cup red onion
- (1/4) cup good olive oil
- (2) tbsp red wine vinegar (add more to taste)
- (1-2) tsp sea salt
- (1) tbsp good prepared mustard
- (1) tbsp sugar (any kind you like - feel free to add more if you use extra vinegar)
- Fresh pepper if desired
Start by combining the chopped potatoes in a pot with a little water (about 2 cups). Put them up to boil in the water by bringing to a boil with the lid on. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes, or until pricked easily with a fork. While the potatoes cook, chop dill, pepper, and red onion and add to a large mixing bowl.
Drain your artichokes and cut by first quartering them lengthwise, then cutting the quarters horizontally to get slightly smaller pieces. Add to the bowl along with the other veggies.
Next, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together until combined (and gorgeous). Is there anyone else out there that gets excited by this stuff? Once the potatoes are soft and ready, drain them in a colander and let sit for a minute or two to cool and shed excess liquid from the boiling process. Transfer the hot spuds to a separate mixing bowl and allow to cool additional 3-4 minutes or so. The reason for this is to get the potatoes to the most optimal temperature for soaking up the dressing. If you add the dressing too soon, the potatoes will soak it up too quickly and the heat can affect the flavour of the dressing. By allowing them to cool only slightly, you get a potato that is still warm (but not too hot).
When the potatoes are only steaming slightly and you can touch them with your hands for a few seconds comfortably (about 3-4 minutes after cooking), add the dressing and mix. Allow the potatoes to sit in the dressing and soak it all up another 5 minutes while they cool a little further. Once they are only slightly warm, toss in the large bowl with the waiting chopped raw veggies and dill. Mix gently to evenly distribute.
Serve as is straight out of the mixing bowl or transfer to a clean serving dish. A gorgeous salad to take to a summer potluck - a totally refreshing and zesty take on traditional cold potato salad, sans mayonnaise or dairy of any kinds! For those who eat eggs, I would serve this salad with classic deviled eggs and a green salad for a perfect summer meal. This is also great as a side to any protein dish.