Recently I got a request asking if I might be interested in writing an article about main dish summer salads, easy to put together recipes, I thought, what fabulous luck. I love being creative and recipe articles keep me experimenting in the kitchen.
This timely request arrived at almost the exact moment that I'd started thinking what a rut we were in at dinner. I was wonding how to add some variety. It was a great invitation to be more creative with dinner, in fact, if I hadn't gotten this request, I would have done it anyway.
What a great way to perk up our home cuisine.
I asked a few friends for ideas for this article. One friend likes to toast chunks of gluten-free focaccia as croutons for green salads. She adds chickpeas, sunflower seeds and sweet cherry tomatoes. Another friend adds edamame and quinoa. Quinoa?
On that bit of inspiration I made a simple quinoa salad with red quinoa, balsamic vinegar, sauted shallots and peppers. I added chopped parsley and topped it with toasted cashews. Salads are so easy you can whip them up in minutes and they are different all the time.
Salads should be a staple in everyones' menu. One day we'll even have salads for breakfast.
This one is all about potatoes. Who doesn't love potato salad?
New potatoes are the best because they're so sweet and tender, but you can choose everyday white or red potatoes from the grocery store, if you want. The potatoes from the farmers market tend to cost more, but the flavor makes all the difference.
The same goes for vinegar. Rockridge Orchards is always my first choice.
My Cooking Assistant has other ideas. He's too distracted by strawberries this season. I think he can sniff them a block away.
He's quick. You might want to go check your berries.
He's quick with the photo op, too. One minute he is sound asleep. The next, he's got his nose in the picture and won't remove it until he gets a sample.
Too spoiled, I think.
Sorry this was a bit late this week. I've been too busy enjoying spring. Hope you like this salad as much as we did.
Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad
2 pounds red, white and blue (purple) potatoes, small dice
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
2 cherry peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh sweet onions, small dice
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons aioli spread, or vegan mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup chopped curly parsley
Steam potatoes until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Drain. In a medium mixing bowl, add drained potatoes, kidney beans, peppers, and onions.
Combine raspberry vinegar, mustard, olive oil, aioli spread, agave nectar and white pepper. Blend until creamy. Combine dressing and potatoes, peppers and onions. Blend in olives, if desired, and parsley.