Monday, May 26, 2008

Not Your Ordinary Potato Salad

We've spent a very enjoyable Memorial Day spring cleaning and cooking, and we're off to a party at the T's in the cul-de-sac behind us.  I wanted to make a potato salad, but with the edge of a remoulade sauce, but without any mayonnaise or cream, and also incorporating farm veggies.  Since it was for a picnic, I also wanted something that wouldn't go bad sitting out on a buffet.  Basically, a potato salad without all the elements of traditional potato salads.  This is what I came up with.  It's savory and colorful and creamy in a completely novel way (at least to me).

This makes a large amount, probably enough to serve about 12 people.

I know I put "vegetarian" on the label, and here I go putting anchovies in -- but all you'd need to do is replace the anchovies with salt, probably.  And many vegetarians will eat fish, so I guess it would work for them.

3 lb small (but not tiny) red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 head of broccoli, florets only
1/2 lb snow peas, with tips snapped off and stringed
2 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped finely
6 sweet gherkins, chopped finely
2 Tbs capers, drained and chopped finely
3 Tbs grainy dijon mustard
3 oz anchovy fillets, chopped finely
2 Tbs pimentos
1/2 lb creamy goat's-milk feta or chevre
2 Tbs champagne vinegar
  1. Cover the potatoes in cold water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for about 20 minutes, just until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (I tend to use my sense of smell to know when they are right).
  2. When the potatoes are ready, scoop them out and drain them in a colander.  Add the broccoli and snow peas to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, just until bright green.  Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl put all the rest of the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended and creamy.  Let stand in the refrigerator until you're ready to mix it all up.  I kept on adding things and using a potato to taste-test.
  4. When the potatoes and vegetables are cool, toss them together with the sauce in a large bowl.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spanish Greens

In spring, Farmer Fred grows lots and lots and lots of greens. Kale, tatsoi, bok choi, swiss chard, spinach. Prior to joining the CSA, I always thought of kale as being decoration on a salad bar (that's what we used to use it for at good old Rax Restaurant). Now I discover that it's quite delicious! And very cheap and plentiful.

This recipe can be done with spinach only, or any combination of greens. Tougher greens may just take a wee bit longer to cook. Even people who don't like spinach tend to love this dish.

Serves 4

10 oz fresh spinach
6 oz other greens (kale, tatsoi)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
  1. Soak the raisins in the sherry
  2. Wash the greens (a large sink-full of cold water and lots of swishing helps), removing tough stems. Spin mostly dry and chop or tear coursely.
  3. Heat a very large pot, and toast the pine nuts. Remove them to a mise bowl.
  4. Add the oil and heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  5. Add the greens in bunches, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat with oil and wilt.
  6. Add the sherry, raisins and pine nuts. Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until the greens are silky but not overcooked.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.