Potato salad (without mayo!)

Most potato salad I’ve come across in my life are very different from what my mom used to make (which obviously is what I consider the standard to which all other potato salads need to measure up to) and if I never had my mom’s or my own inspired by her, I would have to say, I’m not a fan of potato salad. That’s because pretty much they main ingredient is mayonnaise and I can’t stand mayo – I don’t like the texture (slippery slimy like my other food foes butter, raw tomatoes and oysters), taste (all I taste is a fat film taking over my entire mouth) or the ingredient list (mostly a bunch of fats, sugar and calcuim disodium edta, a pollutant and chelating agent which sounds both natural and healthy). Yuk. However, it’s an illusion to think potato salad = a few chunks of potatoes floating in a sea of mayo.

This potato salad is, in my biased opinion, 100 times better and a 100 times healthier. The second being a fact – the only fat in this salad is heart healthy olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • about 10 small potatoes, cut into chunks and steamed until soft (do not overcook)
  • 1 large cucumber (field or English)
  • 4 pickled cucumbers, cut into small chunks
  • 2 green onions, sliced and/or a handful of chives
  • 2 table each spoons olive oil and vinegar for dressing
  • 1 table spoon of mustard (I prefer the grainy Dijon kind)
  • 1 cup of warm broth (I used vegetable broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste

imageMix olive oil, vinegar, and mustard, add broth and warm potatoes. Let this sit for about 1 hour, gently stirring to have ensure all the potatoes are soaking up some of the broth. Then, when it’s cooled off, add cucumbers, pickles and green onion and/or chives, season with salt and pepper. Great as a side to BBQ meats or vegetables and this can easily be prepared ahead of time.

The potatoes I used were young potatoes from our garden which by the way came out of a few large potatoes cut up into chunks, then buried into a trench in some soil where nothing else grows, then you need to do some uphilling while the plant grows but is otherwise a very easy garden plant.  You could also use other young potatoes or regular large once, but don’t use russet potatoes or other potatoes you’d use for mashed or baked potatoes, instead use the kind that stays relatively firm – what you would use if you fried them or made hash browns.

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Caprese Ciabatta

You may be familiar with Caprese salad – a classic Italian salad of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella (I said this before – when I say mozzarella, I mean real fresh mozzarella, not the white piece of plastic you find next to the cheddar in the grocery store – it may be sold as boccocini or buffalo mozzarella in the deli aisle) with basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is basically that salad, stuffed into a ciabatta. Enjoy!

photoNo, seriously, here’s the recipe, for 2 people:

  • 1 ciabatta bread – make deep cuts every 1/4 inch or so, but don’t cut all the way through
  • 1 ripe tomato, in slices
  • 1 ball (can’t think of a better word) of mozzarella, in slices
  • fresh basil
  • 2 table spoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Add either a slices of tomato or a slice of mozzarella with a leaf of basil into each of the cuts of the bread. Drip balsamic over top, wrap in tin foil and grill for 10 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.

This could be served as an appetizer or a side – it was a late dinner for us after lots of snacking all day (did I mention hanging out at pools and on boats?), so this was a full meal for us. Enjoy!