Confetti Potato Salad

Baby, Tricolored Potatoes make the best potato salad!
Baby, Tricolored Potatoes make the best potato salad!
Baby, Tricolored Potatoes make the best potato salad!

I generally don’t eat potatoes. Probably because I grew up in a Mexican American household where rice was the predominate starch. Because of this, I have not mastered mash potatoes, scalloped potatoes or the summer favorite, potato salad…..that is, until now! 

Tricolored Baby Potatoes!
Tricolored Baby Potatoes!

I stumbled into the most adorable sack of baby, tricolored potatoes while grocery shopping this week. I promptly purchased them, with the intention of making the best potato salad, ever. A beautiful potato salad, devoid of mayonnaise and tangy, bright and lemony.

For the vinaigrette, I relied on one of my favorite recipes. The base of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and a hefty shot of dijon mustard would be the perfect dose of flavor to liven up the potatoes.

A bouquet of herbs.
A bouquet of herbs.

My garden is bursting with herbs, so I added a hefty handful of basil, purple basil, thyme and chives. These herbs and their blossoms, are perfect to add a layer of fresh flavor to any salad and they also provide a gorgeous pop of color. I also tossed in some arugula to boost the green factor:)

Potato salad generally has relish or pickles added to it to intensify the flavor. Luckily, my refrigerator is full of homemade pickled beets, carrots and onions.

Pickled beets, carrots and onion.
Pickled beets, carrots and onion.

Next time you are at the grocery store, look for pickled veggies that are readily available. These veggies are the perfect addition to any summer salad! I roughly chopped these up and added them to the mix. They looked like confetti, dancing in the salad.

The potatoes are so small, only 15 minutes of boiling was needed to cook them through. When they became cool enough to touch, I sliced them in half and added all of the ingredients, in a large bowl.

Potatoes, herbs, arugula and pickled veggies!!
Potatoes, herbs, arugula and pickled veggies!!

The arugula became perfectly wilted in the process. The vinaigrette soaked into the warm potatoes. I placed the bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

My last step was to soft boil 4 eggs. This last step is mandatory. I prefer 7 minute eggs, where the yolks are just barely cooked through and still a bit runny. If that is not your thing, go for the 10 minute egg (a true hard boiled egg). Once the egg has cooled down, slice it carefully in half (you don’t want to loose too much of the yolk) and add it to the potato salad. Go ahead and stir it in so that the yolk spills into the salad. The yolk adds a layer of thickness and richness to the vinaigrette, without weighing it down too much.

Mix in your eggs!!
Mix in your eggs!!

As you stir, use your spoon to gently chop up the egg whites, so that it incorporates evenly throughout the salad. Add salt and pepper or a squeeze of lemon juice if needed. Sprinkle with additional herbs and blossoms to garnish. Enjoy! And by the way, it’s even better the next day;)

Confetti Potato Salad
Serves 4
A delicious and colorful summer salad!
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound of baby tricolored potatoes
  2. 1 cup of pickled veggies, chopped
  3. 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh herbs (recommend chive, basil and thyme)
  4. 2 cups arugula or other greens
  5. 4 eggs billed to your preference
  6. 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
  7. 1/3 cup olive oil
  8. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  9. 1 tsp honey
  10. 2 TBS whole grain mustard
  11. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  12. 1 pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes. In a separate pan, boil eggs to your preference and allow them to cool. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice on half and add to a large bowl along with the arugula, herbs and pickled veggies. Whisk last 7 ingredients together to make vinaigrette and add to salad, coating all ingredients evenly. Add salt and pepper or lemon juice if needed. Place in refrigerator to chill. Once eggs have cooled, cut them gently in half and stir them into the salad.
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Pickled Beets, Cucumbers, Shallots and Such!

A beautiful mix of two kinds of beets!

I have cucumbers and beets coming out of my ears! So I’ve been working on ways to efficiently use them up! So far, the best solution has been to quick pickle them. It’s quick, easy and allows you to enjoy them for a few weeks. They also look beautiful, displayed in the fridge and would be a great, last minute hostess gift:)

This week's harvest!
This week’s harvest! I have cucumbers and beets coming out of my ears! 

No matter what vegetable I’m using, each batch is made with an acid (vinegar and/or citrus juice), a TBS of honey or sugar and is differentiated by the combination of vinegar and/or citrus juice and herbs used.

Rose vinegar from the farmers market:)
Rose vinegar from the farmers market:)

For the cucumbers:
I simply wash, peel and slice the cucumbers. You can slice them any thickness you choose, just realize that they soften up substantially in the ‘pickling’ process. I’ve made 2 different batches, so far. One with seasoned rice vinegar, which is perfect on an Asian salad with sesame oil, mandarin oranges and greens….or simply on their own! The other batch was made with champagne vinegar and basil blooms.

For beets:
The beets are washed, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch slices. Then I steam them for 10-20 minutes, depending on the type of beet and the size of the slices. You can tell when they are ready by piercing them with a fork. They will be tender when they are done.

For the beets, I’ve been using champagne vinegar, with citrus juice of 1 lemon, grapefruit or orange. The citrus is just a perfect addition to the beets. For herbs, basil, mint, chives and thyme, all work beautifully.

You only need to fill the container half way with vinegar, lay it on it’s side in the fridge and rotate every few hours to evenly distribute the flavor. They develop the best flavor when soaked overnight.

Alternately, you don’t have to steam the beets! You can simply peel them down into ribbons or shred and pickle them to make a raw beet salad. The same process is effective for radishes and turnips;)

The beets are my favorite! I’m absolutely in love with their gorgeous color! I’ve been adding them to my quinoa salad, with feta, nuts and a hefty spoon of pesto and greens. Or they are perfect on their own, with mozzarella, a sprinkle of basil and a drizzle of olive oil, for a variation of a caprese salad. Plain Greek yogurt is also a good accompaniment. Even people who tell me they HATE beets, love these!

Other vegetables:
I’ve also tried ‘pickling’ carrots, green beans (steam for 5-10 minutes), radishes, shallots and red onion. Pickling the shallots, radishes and red onion are a great way to tame their strong flavor! They sweeten right up and can be easily enjoyed as a topping for salads, sandwiches, tacos, etc. they will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks!

Pickled Beets, Cucumbers, Shallots and Such!
A quick and easy way to make use of the abundance of summer veggies!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. any combination of the veggies,
  2. 1-4 Beets, cleaned, peeled and sliced
  3. 1-2 Large Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  4. 1-2 Shallots, sliced thinly
  5. 5-8 Radishes, cleaned and sliced
  6. Fresh herbs of your choice
  7. Basil, chives, garlic, thyme, etc or a spoon of pesto
  8. 1-2 cups of vinegar (just enough to submerge half of the veggies
  9. 1 TBS Honey or Sugar
  10. 1 tsp of salt to taste
  11. Large Mason Jars
Instructions
  1. Prepare veggies by cleaning, peeling (if needed) and slicing. Add veggies to a mason jar, along with selected herbs, sweetener and salt. If you are steaming veggies, they can go directly into the mason jar, hot. Add enough vinegar to fill the jar halfway. Close the lid and shake well. lay the jar on its side in the refrigerator, making sure to rotate the jar every few hours to evenly soak. for best results, soak overnight, but cucumbers generally take 30 mins! Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks!
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Rainbow Summer Rolls!!!

Ahhhh! The joys of summer! The sun, the warmth and the fresh produce! I don’t know about you, but my palate goes through a major overhaul in the summer months. I crave tons of salads, veggies and fruit. Cold foods rule on the hottest days of summer. As I write this, I’m realizing that summer is still 3 weeks away! I’m getting a jump start on my warm weather favorites now, with the possibility of 90 degree heat in the next few days:))

Gorgeous ingredients
Gorgeous ingredients

I stumbled onto the idea of incorporating beautiful beets into summer rolls on a blog The Minimal Baker. They add such beautiful color and flavor! The best thing about these beauties, is there is NO recipe needed! Honestly! Zero! Just gather a mix your favorite veggies, such as cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, beets…..whatever! The addition of mango gives the rolls a blast of fresh flavor and beautiful color. (I wouldn’t make these, without the mango!) The cilantro and mint are key ingredients as well, although, if you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can probably get away from leaving it out;)

The second best thing about making these rolls, is that they are completely raw! No cooking required! No need to get overheated in your kitchen:)) I use a food processor to shred the carrots and the beets, but the rest of the ingredients can be thinly sliced into strips, using a good knife. To add a bit more flavor and interest, I generally add a teaspoon of seasoned rice vinegar to each of the veggies. This step is unnecessary, but recommended.

The spring rolls are made using sheets of Vietnamese rice papers. Most grocery stores carry them (look in the Asian food section). If you can’t find them, go to an Asian grocery store or purchase on Amazon!

A great gluten free vehicle!
A great gluten free vehicle!

Now the fun begins! To prepare the spring rolls, all you need is a plate with warm water (not HOT)! Place one sheet of rice paper into the water, until the paper gets soft. If you leave it in the water too long, it will fall apart. It might take a couple tries to get the hang of the process;) Be patient and have fun with it!

I place the softened rice paper on a moist cutting board and begin filling it up with my favorite veggie combinations! I love using heirloom varieties of beets and carrots! The colors are amazing! Each spring roll becomes its on work of art! You can fit a lot into these rolls. If you don’t fill them up, there is excess rice paper (not a good thing), so practice make perfect!

Finally, I mixed up a yummy, spicy peanut sauce for dipping. I found this spicy Thai peanut butter at New Seasons Market and decided to incorporate it into the sauce. It’s really tasty and is the ingredients are simple! I mixed 1/4 cup of the peanut butter with 1 TBS of Bragg Liquid Aminos and some water to thin out the sauce a bit.

The rolls will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, but they are addictive and won’t last that long! Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Spanish Octopus Salad

The salad
The salad
The salad

Most people keep canned tuna fish in their cupboard. I do too, but I also have developed a fondness for many different packaged seafoods. These foods are staples for many people in European countries, such as Spain. Considered delicacies to this Pacific North Westerner, I found a fantastic variety at the shop in EVOO, in Cannon Beach last month. But the big question remains…..What does one do with canned octopus??!! Here is my tasty solution…..

I took inspiration from a salad I had at St. Jack in Portland, which was crunchy, colorful and tasty.  My first step was to pick crunchy veggies, so I chose a mixture of romanesco, carrots and onions. Really, any cruciforous veggies will do! These choices were equally pleasing to the eye! Beautiful, bright green and orange colors of the veggies, looked amazing with the white and purple in the octopus:) Now, my next task, was to make the mixture tasty.

I chopped all of the veggies and the octopus into small chunks, to allow the flavors to blend well together. I decided to go with a Spanish blend of flavors. A nod to the octopus which came from Spain! Sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, lemon, salt and EVOO. I placed everything into a mason jar, gave it a good shake, placed in the fridge for a few hours and waited patiently for the flavors to come together.

Yum! This was a perfect, midweek, light dinner. I ate the entire jar of goodness in one setting and now I’m scrambling to find more of this amazing octopus on the Internet. As luck would have it, a new store, specializing in Spanish foods just opened in the Pearl. It’s called  Conserva. You should check them out! 

 

Charred Spring Onion, Kale and Shaved Asparagus Salad

Spring onion charred salad

I went nuts at the farmer’s market again today! I generally get so excited, that I forget that I only have a short period of time to eat the multiple bags of veggies, fruits and greens that I bring home. This is a recipe I came up with, after such a trip!

Farmer's Market Loot

I found the most beautiful hued kale! Light green in color with a gorgeous light purple trim. It’s called Russian Kale. Despite it’s lighter color, the leaves are quite tough. it’s probably meant to be used in cooking, but I was determined to use it in a salad. The key to making a great kale salad is to thinly shred and massage your kale! So I decided that this particular kale would need to be more finely shredded and require more vigorous massaging;) I am up for the task!

Herb scissors

 

I picked up these fantastic herb scissors at William Sonoma, but any kitchen scissors will work! Cut the kale into thin, ribbon shaped pieces and remove any thick stems!

 

Shredded kaleHere is were the fun begins! Drizzle about 3 TBS of EVOO over the shredded kale and sprinkle with 1/4-1/2 tsp of good salt. Massage your kale. Be rough with it! Bruise it! Batter it! 3 minutes should be sufficient, but if in doubt, massage a bit more! If you are interested in making this recipe a bit more substantial, you could add 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa at this point, as well. The warm quinoa will help to breakdown the kale fiber.

At this point, I like to add my dressing. The simplest ingredients make the best food, so just sherry vinegar, lemon juice, EVOO and salt should be perfect!

Sherry vinegar

If you crave more flavor, add a hefty scoop of your favor pesto. By adding the dressing to the salad now, you are allowing the flavors to properly infuse into your kale! you can also add the nuts and cheese. I used pistachios and parmesan cheese. Pepitas, sesame seeds, almonds and cashews are some of my favorite nuts that I add to salads. For cheese, I often use feta, cotija and blue cheese (when I’m feeling decadent).

Now, you can shave the asparagus. This is an easy way to eat asparagus raw, without cooking it:) Just peel it like you’re peeling a carrot. Add it to your salad. Let the flavors soak in! Next, fire roast the bulbs of the spring onions.

Charred Spring Onion!
Charred Spring Onion!

Char the bulbs, one at a time, directly on the flame of a gas range….unless you are using a BBQ. In that case, you can roast them all at once! You want to make sure that the bulbs get nice and charred on all sides. The goal is to get them so fired up, that they are black, soft and start to ooze (about 5 minutes). Place aside to cool. Once they have cooled down, removed charred skins and slice the bulbs thinly. They should be completely soft and cooked through.The greens of the onion can be sliced and added to the salad, as well!

Adding quinoa and chicken, bulks up this salad into a substantial dinner!
Adding quinoa and chicken, bulks up this salad into a substantial dinner!

The salad is complete! Add salt and pepper to taste, or another squeeze of lemon, if needed. At this point you can add cooked chicken to make this a substantial meal. I love this salad, because, in my small household of 2, it lasts for a couple days and gets tastier the longer it sits!

 

Charred Spring Onion, Kale and Asparagus Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Bunch of Kale, thinly shredded
  2. 5 Spears (or more) of Asparagus, shaved
  3. 5 Spring Onions, charred over a gas range or BBQ
  4. 1 Bunch of Cilantro, chopped, finely
  5. 1 Handful of nuts (your choice)
  6. 1 Handful of crumbled cheese (your choice)
  7. 3 TBS EVOO, plus 3 more
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 3 TBS Sherry Vinegar
  10. 1 Lemon, juiced
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry all veggies.
  2. Using kitchen scissors, thinly slice the kale into ribbon sized shreds, removing any tough stems.
  3. Drizzle 3 TBS of EVOO onto the kale with a pinch salt and massage the kale for 3 minutes, making sure the kale is wilted and broken down.
  4. If you are going to add quinoa, add it here, while it's still warm.
  5. Add 3 TBS of Sherry Vinegar, lemon juice and the rest of the EVOO.
  6. Add the nuts, cheese and cilantro to the kale mixture. Toss well.
  7. Shave the asparagus, using a vegetable peeler. Add it to the kale mixture, tossing all ingredients.
  8. Char the bulbs of each of the spring onions, one at a time, placing the bulb directly on the flame.
  9. Continue rotating until all sides are charred and the bulb turns soft (about 5 minutes per bulb).
  10. Let the bulbs cool, then remove charred bits. Thinly slice, each bulb.
  11. Add to kale mixture.
  12. Add cooked chicken, if you wish.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator!
Notes
  1. To create a more substantial meal, consider adding leftover chicken or 2 cups of cooked quinoa!
  2. If you do this, would be good to add ¼ cup of fresh pesto or double the oil and vinegar!
  3. The key to a great kale salad is to shred and thoroughly massage the kale with EVOO and a pinch of salt!
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