So many spuds

30 Aug

Farm co-ops are fantastic!  Hands down, one of the best ways to get fresh, local, sustainable, and the best tasting produce of the season.  Each week we bring 2 filled-to-the-brim bags of produce into our humble abode from a farm just outside of Eugene.  Last week, we were overwhelmed with another bag of beautiful new red potatoes, giving us a total of 42.  Still smelling of dirt, we drove home slightly open-mouthed audibly thinking, “what are we doing to do with so many potatoes?”  Let me preface by saying I am in no way complaining about the abundance of the tuber.  But I am truly needing to call upon my Scandinavian roots and my fiance’s auburn-haired Irish-ness to accomplish the challenge of using our loot.

It is summer (even though it’s 60 degrees out right now), and summer means classic summer food.  Like cranberries to the turkey, a good potato salad is one of the best accompaniments to a grilled or (I hate to say it) fried summer meal.  Along with the potatoes, cilantro, parsley and basil stood out in our basket like foresty gems, their green scent filling the car and spurring the idea of the herby potato salad.

A little bit of history: like many cooks, I’ve had some accidents in the kitchen.  However, the one that stands out the most involves the chopping of potatoes.  About 4 years ago, on the first day of my Christmas break, I decided to go all out and make an uncharacteristicly large breakfast for my roommates and myself.  The eggs were standing by waiting to be scrambled with basil and feta, the bacon had fulfilled its crispy potential and its sputtering drippings were calling for the very thinly sliced potatoes to be dropped in and fried.  Those potato slices were so thin, and were to be so tasty in all that salty pork fat…. but I quickly lost my appetite when my quick chopping came right down on the tip of my thumb.  Rookie move.  Immediately dropping the knife, I grab the towel, try to stop the blood, and quickly bandage up my finger.  I got a couple “Are you ok?”s from my roommates, and a “I found the piece of your thumb” comment from one of their boyfriends, and got back to work.  Paying more attention to my thumb, I resume my chopping, more slowly and, what I thought to be, more carefully.  NOPE.  Down comes the knife on the tip of my middle finger.  More blood, more towels, and a couple 4-letter words.

Needless to say, there were no pan fried potatoes that morning.  As I sat with my fingers bandaged, my hand kept high up in the air (to stop the throbbing), my roommates finished the eggs, gave me a double helping of bacon, and a beer.  Oh, and they kept asking me if I had a question.

Long story short – the story came to mind when I made this potato salad.  However, the outcome was MUCH more tasty, and a lot less painful.

Check out the recipe for Herbed Potato Salad, and don’t cut your fingers.  

Herbed Potato Salad

  • 5-6 new red potatoes, washed and diced into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/3 c good mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 c of equal parts chopped flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, and basil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • s/p to taste

Mix wet ingredients, and add s/p to taste.  Mix in the diced potatoes and herbs.  Taste again for more lemon juicy or seasoning.  Salad should be creamy, tangy, and  have a freshly-cut grassy note.

** This would be excellent with a crunch factor of celery, and you can hearty it up with a hard-boiled egg.

4 Responses to “So many spuds”

  1. Gen August 30, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Your story reminds me of the time James was cutting a bagel and sliced his finger. All wife-like, I said in exasperation, “HERE, let me show you how to do it RIGHT.” And then promptly sliced my finger too.

    Fingers: the best, and mysteriously least celebrated, addition to food since anchovies.

  2. Dawn September 19, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    Jill, I can hear your laughter come right off the page. Miss you my friend. Reading your blog is almost as good as having you back in CA! I can’t wait to read more of your food adventures…xo


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