I can’t believe it’s been…almost 9 months since I posted a recipe? Really? I could have gestated a baby in that time (I did not). I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut over the winter, and have found myself preparing the same meals over and over again. With the recent warm weather, though, I’ve gotten inspired to shake things up and make dinners exciting again. Yesterday I went to the library and picked up a copy of Heidi Swanson’s beautiful Super Natural Everyday. The photographs are stunning and the writing poetic, all supporting a truly wonderful array of recipes. She groups them in six categories: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks, sweets. This one falls under lunch, but I’m having it for dinner tonight.
I’ve never been that big of a fan of potato salads, but this one is different: Swanson calls it “Mostly Not Potato Salad”, and it’s an apt name. There are potatoes, for sure, and a (somewhat) traditional vinegar/mustard/olive oil dressing, but there is also celery, green beans, cucumber, and leeks, plus fresh herbs (she uses dill and chives; I used parsley and scallions) and tofu. It can stand alone as a light meal, but I had mine with chicken sausages and toast. Delicious!
makes 4-6 servings
3 medium red-skinned potatoes (about 3/4 pound) , scrubbed clean and quartered
a big handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard, whole grain if you have it
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped dill or parsley
1 leek, white and tender green parts, chopped
4-6 stalks of celery, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced small
6 ounces baked* or extra firm tofu, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 scallions or a small handful of chives, chopped
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. 30 seconds before they’re done add the green beans, and cook until beans are bright green and crisp. Drain. When cool enough to handle, chop the potatoes into large (about 1.5-inch) chunks.
Whisk the vinegar, mustard, oil, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Heat a splash of oil in a small pan. Add the parsley or dill and saute for a few seconds, then add the leek and a big pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
Toss the potatoes, green beans, leeks, celery, cucumber, tofu and scallions together in a large bowl. Add most of the dressing, taste, and add the rest if necessary. Serve the salad warm, or let it sit in the fridge overnight and serve cold.
*baked tofu is easy and delicious; check out The Kitchn’s tutorial here.