Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pesto-Potato Salad

I'm just going to say RIGHT NOW that my cooking is typically healthy. However, if one had only my Cooking Challenge posts to go on, one might think I was always cooking things with low nutritional quotient and high "lazy" factor. (Oh geez, and I never did post my Lazy Pancakes entry. Well, some things may be best left undone, eh?)

This dish is really no different. It's embarrassingly easy. And somewhat high calorie. (Sly, I'd be intrigued for you to run your calorie evaluation on this dish. Kind of.) But you have NEVER tasted the likes of it before. And you'll want to. Trust me.

I got this recipe from fellow Cooking Challenger @theStephFisher's Fourth of July party 2 years ago. Her sister (Deborah Miller, PhD candidate) brought Pesto Potato Salad to the 4th of July picnic & I haven't stopped thinking about it since then.

This totally fits the "Local Foods" category of the Summer's Cooking Challenge. The potatoes and green beans are local, as are the basil leaves & garlic used in the pesto. And I know you're going to want to make it because it is So. Good. It best for taking to pot lucks, so you don't accidentally eat the whole bowl all alone. I have now made it three times this summer. (Granted, pesto is my favorite food, but still. 3 times!? I don't think we've had hamburgers three times this summer.)

Here are the ingredients:

Pesto (homemade)
Potatoes, chopped bite sized & boiled
Green Beans
Green Onions (I actually used real onions because I was out of green onions. Improvising is the name of the game!)
Olive Oil
Pine Nuts left over from making the pesto & some ribbons of basil

I bought my potatoes from the Minnetrista Farmer's Market. My favorite are potatoes from Christopher Farms, a local all organic farm in Randolph County. Her booth is always beautiful! Their potatoes are expensive, but almost buttery-tasting. I have a whole passle of the purple potatoes. Aren't they beautiful?

The green beans are local, too. These were also bought at Farmer's Market from a farmer who's in Blackford County, just north of here.

I made the pesto for this batch, but I've used jarred pesto at other times. You can do that. Believe me, this Lazy Baker will NEVER judge you for taking a cooking shortcut. However, making your own pesto is easy. How's about I share the recipe with you below?

So seriously making Pesto Potato Salad is this easy:
1. Prepare the pesto if you're going to make it yourself (see below)
2. Boil the potatoes (Normally I wouldn't share the photo of boiling potatoes, but the water is almost blue!)

3. Chop up the green beans & green onions
4. Blanch the green beans by adding them to the pot with the potatoes for the last 2 or 3 minutes
5. rinse the potatoes/ green beans in cold water to stop them from cooking
6. Put potatoes, green beans, green onions in a bowl

7. Pour in a few swirls of olive oil to lubricate everything
8. Put pesto in, then stir gently so as the potatoes are not turned to mush.
9. Garnish with a handful of pine nuts & some ribbons of basil.
10. Do everyone a favor & put a little portion in a separate bowl. If you eat it out of the main bowl now, you might not be able to contain yourself.

FYI - I think this is best eaten while it's still warm from boiling the potatoes. Mmmmm. PS. I love that the potatoes retain the purple color after cooking! Looks beautiful!

In today's Two For One, here's the recipe for Traditional Pesto

The hardest part about making your own pesto is growing healthy, vibrant basil. If you have a brown thumb like me, it might seem out of reach to make homemade pesto. But to my good fortune, I live ridiculously close to Minnetrista Cultural Center where anyone can go pick herbs from their prolific herb garden. Prolific. And since I had the leftover ingredients from the last time I made pesto, all I needed to do was grab some basil. (And sometimes I do buy basil from the Christopher Farms lady, too. I'm pretty sure she has a gold thumb, to my brown one!)

Traditional Pesto
Blend the following until fully incorporated:
A little more basil leaves than you think
A great big handful of parmesean cheese
4 or five cloves of garlic
a good 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pine nuts (really you need pine nuts. they make it taste best)
a great big splash of olive oil
salt & pepper

It's simple. And really, just adjust the ingredients to taste.

1 comment:

  1. HURRAY! I was hoping to make this for my church pitch-in on Sunday, and I had forgotten to hit you up for the recipe. This is one of my favorites! :)