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 !

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”

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”

Spring risotto

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The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me, and the following few weeks will be, too. Not too busy time-wise, but event/plans wise. Work, volunteering, going to the beach, normal stuff, and now classes, which also have homework. Yes, my cooking classes have begun! I guess I’m officially a student again, but I don’t feel like a student, so I’m not identifying as it. I’m still up for any and all student discounts, though, and my community college ID has no expiration date, so I suppose that I can use it forever. Hooray for a perpetual JCrew discount. Continue reading “Spring risotto”

Asparagus revuelto

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You may have noticed that I’ve been making a lot of salads as of late, and you might be hoping that this trend stops, or is at least slowed a little, and I’m right there with you. I need to share some more exciting things rather than “vegetables this way.” It just so happens that I tend to eat a lot of veggies, and I’m always looking for new ways to eat them. Once it starts getting warm, too, I especially start to make dinner by sticking whatever is in the fridge on top of greens and calling it a meal. However, I’m yet again going to actively be working to have more diversity on this site. I’m sure the salad things won’t stop (I already have an idea of something that is really, really good for next week), but hopefully I’ll have more variety to share with you in the not too distant future.

Luckily for you, this recipe is for asparagus revuelto is a main dish (with veggies of course!) that works for breakfast, lunch or dinner, makes use of the lovely springtime asparagus popping up at all of the markets and grocery stores, comes together pretty quickly, and is absolutely delicious. It’s a pretty humble dish–any dish that’s main ingredient is eggs is pretty humble– but I wouldn’t hesitate serving this to any guests or even at a casual dinner party. The recipe below is only for two servings, but it’s easy to do some multiplication and make it for a crowd. Continue reading “Asparagus revuelto”

Patatas bravas salad

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Tapas are a really in thing. There are at least three tapas restaurants in Durham, and Durham isn’t at all a large city. Maybe they’re popular because they involve sharing, and we’re now in the epoch of the sharing economy, or maybe it’s because people like to try a little bit of everything, and you can easily order five or six tapas for two people, trying a good portion of the menu. I don’t know–all I know is that they’re popular. Continue reading “Patatas bravas salad”

Rhubarb compote

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I recently discovered rhubarb. I knew what it was, and I had some ideas about what it tasted like, but I’d never actually eaten it. I remember when I was little there was a patch of rhubarb in my parents’ backyard, but my mom cut it down because my dad and I wouldn’t eat anything that she made with it. Tasting it now, I understand why I didn’t want it as a child– I wanted all things sweet, and rhubarb, although it can be a little sweet if you dump sugar in it, is really tart.

Also, rhubarb is funny looking. Who expects something that looks like this to taste good? I see chard when I look at that picture, not something that will turn into a delectable spring treat. But when you simply chop up the pretty pink stalks, toss them with some sugar and a spoonful of water, and let it all boil down for several minutes until everything falls apart, it becomes something that you don’t want to stop eating. Continue reading “Rhubarb compote”

Warm asparagus- leek salad

asparagus4Woohoo for spring! You can now sit outside, put away the winter coats and extra layers, and enjoy the pleasure of pulling inchworms off of your clothes when you come in from outside and then watching them inch along on your finger.

You can also find ways to slide asparagus into at least one meal every day, as I’ve been attempting to do as soon as I realized that not freezing weather=asparagus season. Sometimes, I even eat asparagus more than once a day. Continue reading “Warm asparagus- leek salad”

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”

Indian coleslaw

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My dad and I have a penchant for the same side dishes: steamed or grilled broccoli, salad with honey mustard dressing, and coleslaw. I can say that my dad orders one of those things every time that he eats in a restaurant, and I probably do at least 50% of the time. We find foods that we like, and we stick to them. Continue reading “Indian coleslaw”