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Ladies Who Lunch: Spring Fling Potato Salad


It doesn’t seem quite fair to have slipped the freeze of winter as neatly as we have this year. Still, with flowers pushing their way up into the light yet again and the weatherman promising 70° days this week, I’m ignoring the calendar and daydreaming about lazy afternoon picnics like it’s…well, April at the very least.

first flowers

Admittedly, there are flaws in the fantasy. Local produce amounts to little more than the crates of apples and turnips the fields produced last season, though thanks to a little help from our neighbors to the south, the delicate, hinting green of spring is available for import–a telegram that the season is on its way. Taking full advantage, some of those bright, crisp flavors inspired this perfectly packable potato salad, with just a bit of creaminess to keep the chill off until the danger of frost has truly passed.

Spring Fling Potato Salad

For the salad

3 lbs. mixed red and gold waxy Idaho potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 cups green peas, frozen or fresh
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 small cucumbers, seeded and diced
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds

For the dressing

3 T white balsamic vinegar
2 T pomegranate molasses
2 tsp. kosher salt
generous handful fresh basil
leaves from a few springs of fresh mint
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus additional as needed
3/4 cup mayonnaise

Boil the cubed potatoes until just fork tender, about ten minutes. Drain and reserve.

While potatoes cook, bring a second pot of water to a boil and blanch peas for one minute, then drain and plunge them into an ice water bath to shock and stop the cooking. Set aside.


To make the dressing, place vinegar, pomegranate molasses, salt, and herbs in the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until leaves are minced. Combine this mixture with the buttermilk and mayonnaise in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until dressing is well mixed. Thin dressing with additional buttermilk as needed.

In a large bowl, place potatoes, peas, cranberries, cucumbers, scallions, and sliced almonds. Toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Disclaimer: This recipe was written for the Idaho Potato Commission, and I was financially compensated for its creation. Previously, Wonderland Kitchen’s Take the G Train: Masala Knishes post was part of their February “Potato Lovers Month” promotion. Both of these dishes were honored with an award for “Best Recipe.”

Scrabble Cooking


My weekly excursion to the Waverly Farmers Market came around a little fast on me this Saturday. Work had worn me down and I hadn’t cooked through nearly as much of last week’s haul as I had planned. Still, the grocery store this non-driver counts on because it’s within easy walking distance is closing down this week while it changes ownership, so I couldn’t afford to let anything go to waste.

For this reason, I motivated myself out of bed early on this first morning of the holiday weekend and went to collect my CSA share and a box of potatoes. When I got back home, I piled every veggie in the place on the counter to take stock and then went to work prepping food for the week, puzzle-piecing ingredients together until I was sure nothing had been left to spoil. Now, there is certainly no danger I will starve.

Broccoli soup with a kick
(adapted from this Broccoli-Mascarpone Soup recipe from Bon Appetit)
Without the mascarpone on hand, I’m sure this is not the same soup, but I simmered my broccoli with the shallots I found rolling around in the drawer, some veggie broth, and a couple of bay leaves, then pureed and added the cayenne and 14 oz. of homemade yogurt to whisk in some creaminess and balance the spice. I’m not a fan of cheesy broccoli soups but the simpler purees often leave me uninspired. The kick on the back end of this one is just what is needed to keep things interesting

Purslane Potato Salad
Is it the Fourth of July without a potato salad? I still had a lonely looking cucumber plus more that enough purslane left over from last week’s purchase to experiment with this version of the picnic classic, so this was an easy pick. Plus, it let me practice my mayo manufacturing skills!

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Scape Pesto
I still hadn’t made this pesto with my garden garlic scapes (all 1/4 cup of them) nor had I roasted the eggplant from last week. With both these tasks now done, I suspect a pizza is in my future later in the week.

Kale, Black Bean, and Corn Salad
To wrap things up, I ended up just tossing what was left of the massaged kale I had prepped the other day with some corn and beans I had on hand. This isn’t really a dish, but rolled up in a flour tortilla (my weekday lunch delivery method of choice) I’m sure it will be quite tasty.

What are you eating this Independence Day weekend?