Pesto potato salad

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I love to look at pictures of famous people. People.com is my guilty pleasure, but I actually don’t bother with most of the crap on their website. I don’t care about reality stars or royals– I only care about the real famous people! Don’t show me pictures of the attention seekers; show me pictures of Jessica Chastain and Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence and people with actual talent. I don’t even know why I look at Star Tracks, which is the section that publishes pictures paparazzi take as stars are leaving the gym or Whole Foods. It takes forever to load each page, and the pictures of celebs in fancy dresses at awards shows is where the real entertainment is. Who can resist pictures of pretty dresses? Surely not me.

I was obviously bored in front of a computer too many hours when I worked in an office, because when I eat this pesto potato salad, I think it’s the sort of thing a celebrity would eat for lunch (since Jennifer Aniston ate a Cobb salad for lunch for 10 years while filming Friends). See, I really wish that I didn’t know these random facts, but I do, so I’m just gonna embrace it. Random useless facts are always fun to pull out at parties.

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Back to this salad though: If you have any basil plants outside and fear the cooler weather might get to them, make this before it does. If you have basil plants inside and they have suddenly overgrown (which mine had), this recipe is calling your name. If you like pesto, even just a little, you need to make this creamy pesto and use it for the salad.

The dressing is creamy from a little Greek yogurt and mayo, and it’s full of flavor– the basil, Parmesan, and pine nuts are a tradition too good to change. A little parsley, vinegar and lemon juice brighten the flavors, and tender potatoes coated in the sauce placed atop spicy, lightly dressed arugula complement each other splendidly. The punch from arugula and burst from tomatoes create enough contrast that you feel like you’re eating a salad, not a just a potato salad, and that’s because it is a real salad. It’s a healthy, delicious and interesting combination that is perfect for the end of summer and good enough to eat several days in a row.

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Pesto potato salad
adapted from Cooking Light, July 2015
makes 4 main course servings
four-stars

 

Notes: Any kind of potato works. I used russet because that’s what I had, but  waxy potatoes such as new potatoes would be great for this.

If you only want one or two servings at a time, only dress enough potatoes for those servings, and refrigerate the dressing and potatoes separately. Additionally, reduce the amount of arugula and tomatoes for fewer servings at once as well.

 

1 ½ pounds potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 1 inch square pieces
1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
1 ounce (about a 1 inch by 2 inch piece) grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 lemon
½ teaspoon salt
olive oil
arugula, roughly 4-6 cups
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

 

1. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Set on stove and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, strain put in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Put basil, parsley, Parmesan, yogurt, mayo, vinegar, pine nuts, the juice of 1/2 lemon and salt in the bowl of a mini-chopper or food processor. Pulse until blended– you may need to scrape down the bowl to ensure that everything is well blended.

3. In a serving bowl, stir together the juice from the other half of a lemon and a glug (about 1 tablespoon) of olive oil. Toss in the arugula and cherry tomatoes. Add the creamy pesto to the bowl with the potatoes and toss to coat.

4. Serve the arugula on plates, and then top with potatoes. Bon appetit !

Chorizo burgers

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Oh, Argentina. I have quite a few entertaining stories from when I studied abroad there, including being trapped on a bus for 56 hours for a 4 or 5 day trip, being told to go to the hardware store to DIY a cast for a sprained ankle, and eating hot mayo on rice for two meals in one day. (Luckily the last one was only one day, but man were those two meals practically impossible to choke down.)

When I planned to go to Argentina, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew about my living situation and a bit about the types of classes I would be taking, but I didn’t actually know much about the country or the culture. The one thing that I did expect, besides speaking a lot of Spanish, was eating a lot of good food. Continue reading “Chorizo burgers”

Refrigerator pickles

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Recently, I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. First, I cut my finger. Not badly, and it’s almost healed by now, but still, cutting your finger sucks. Then, I bumped a hot oven with my arm. Burn 1. I stuck my hand in 171F water. Burn 2. A couple days later, I decide to go for a long run. Three-fourths the way through, I trip on nothing and scrape my knee like a little kid. I ran home with blood running down my leg, and no one said anything to me. I was really surprised about that, actually. Continue reading “Refrigerator pickles”

Lemon and zucchini tea cakes

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I have not been taking full advantage of summer produce this year. Most of this is because since I no longer work in an office, I no longer have a farmer’s market magically pop up in the street in front of my place of work once a week. I used that as a nice little 15 minute break from office air conditioning, walking around, checking out the goods, and riding up the elevator with a few bags of freshly picked, local produce in my arms. Now, I actually have to make some effort to go to the farmer’s market, and although it isn’t a hassle at all, I have to think about it, and I only seem to remember it an hour after it’s closed. Continue reading “Lemon and zucchini tea cakes”

Pig and peach crostini

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It is peach season! It is tomato season! It is green bean season! It is watermelon season, and okra season, and squash and corn and blackberry season, and the season of so many other types of great produce. That means that although the the rise in temperature may correspond with the decline of your desire to actually cook, you can make easy meals without any heat.

I have quite a few recipes in the archives from last year that fit this bill, but you can never have enough heat-free options. At least I can’t. Continue reading “Pig and peach crostini”

Centro torta

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This blog has existed for over a year! Can you believe it? I can, and I can’t. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been working on it for over 52 weeks now, but when I look back at some of my first posts, it’s noticeable that all of the practice has improved my photography. When I look at the recipe page, too, I can’t believe that I’ve made and shared so much and so many different types of food, but I also can because I think about how I haven’t had the month of pizzas, or the month of quiches, or the month of the same dishes repeated over and over again for quite a long time. Continue reading “Centro torta”

Quick carrot and avocado salad

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Since I’ve been in this adjustment limbo, I’ve been slow to figure out when is a good time to cook, especially since I’d been abnormally exhausted after early mornings at the bakery. I’m a bit more accustomed, figuring out that going from one day off to three has given me so much time to work on this, and other things, and just relax, so I’m easing my way back in. If you can’t tell from this recipe, the process has been rather slow. Slow is better than nothing, though, and you can still eat well even when you don’t spend much time preparing a dish or a meal.

Continue reading “Quick carrot and avocado salad”

Zucchini fritters with feta

zucfrit3I’ve been having a really unexciting week. I was/still am a little sick. I get ear infections like a five year-old, and although I luckily and surprisingly feel no pain from them, they put a damper on everything. Needless to say, I haven’t much felt like cooking or even thinking about what I want to prepare to eat. So since I was already in the fritter mindset, I made an old faithful fritter.

Fritters: Stove top summer dinner supreme. This fritter, unlike the last fritter, is more fritter and not at all a pancake, and I can pretty much make it without thinking.

zucfrit5zuc4 Continue reading “Zucchini fritters with feta”

Corn fritters with jalapeno

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I’ve successfully not turned on my oven for two weeks. It might not be so much of a success as a challenge, since it’s quite difficult for me to restrain myself from homemade baked goods for too long. It’s almost to the point where I want to see how long I can hold out; it’s some sort of mental game that I’m playing, and everyone else thinks it’s weird. I’m really only surviving this test because of hot fudge sauce, but that’s not important for this story.

The self-imposed anti-oven challenge has reaped a reward other than a cool kitchen*: an awesome corn fritter recipe.

fritters7 Continue reading “Corn fritters with jalapeno”