Friday, June 1, 2012

Two Great Salads

I'm always looking for a good side dish that can be made ahead of time.  Here are two I made for the past holiday weekend, both of which I will be making again. The first one is from the May issue of Bon Appetit.

Eggy Potato Salad with Pickles
8-10 Servings
Sweet pickle juice and a mustard consistency give this Southern potato salad, inspired by one at Sally Bell's Kitchen, its character.
2 3/4 lb medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled (about 8)
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt plus more 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet pickle juice from jar plus 8-10 sweet-pickle chips
1 1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard 
1 tsp sugar 
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more 
5 large hard-boiled egg yolks 
2 Tbs chopped red onion
2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley 
Place potatoes in a large pot.  Add water to cover by 2", season with salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 20-30 minutes.  Drain and place potatoes in a large bowl and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, pickle juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 1/4 tsp salt into a small bowl for dressing.
Using a large wooden spoon, coarsely smash potatoes, leaving some larger pieces with some well-mashed pieces.
Add dressing and egg yolks to potatoes and toss to coat, coarsely smashing egg yolks.  Add onion and parsley; gently mix to incorporate.  Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. 
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and chill.
Divide potato salad among bowls; dust with paprika. Top each serving with a pickle chip.
Notes:  I leave the skin on the potatoes and use Veganaise, an eggless mayonnaise since there are eggs in the salad.  My taste tester has stated that we should have a bowl of this potato salad in the refrigerator at all times. 

For a tasty and healthy grain-type salad, I found this in 201 Quinoa Recipes.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
1 1/2 C quinoa
2 1/4 C water
1 1/2 C black beans
1 1/2 Tb red wine vinegar
1 1/2 C cooked corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 C cilantro, chopped fine
1/3 C fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/3 C olive oil

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve under cold running water until water runs clear.  Put quinoa and water in a pot, bring to boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.  Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. 
While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.  Add beans, corn, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, cayenne and cilantro to the cooled quinoa.  Toss well.
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, cumin and slowly add the oil while whisking.  Drizzle over salad and toss well with salt and pepper.  Salad my be made a day ahead, in fact the flavors blend better if left in the refrigerator over night.  Bring to room temperature before serving. 

Notes:  Since there was a large amount of cooked quinoa, I doubled the amount of corn and beans and used a roasted red pepper for more depth of flavor.  Also, I prefer biting into fresh kernels of corn in my summer salads, no cooking, just slice it off the cob and into the bowl.  For good measure I mixed in a tablespoon of Penzy's Greek Seasoning.  A light and refreshing mix of flavors and textures.

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