po-ta-to (say it like a hobbit)

One of the things that makes me feel best as a cook is when someone says "I don't normally like _____, but this is great."

There are a few things I feel that way about too (my friend Steve's tiramisu is fantastic, tiramisu in general - meh) and potato salad is probably number one on the list. Only my feelings for it are more passionate than "don't like"; normally I can't stand the stuff.

Which is why I was amazed the first time I made this potato salad (to bring to a BBQ, it's traditional so somebody must like the stuff, right?)

Now I make it almost every summer, and just heard those encouraging words again last weekend, "I don't normally like potato salad, but this is really good!"

Potato Salad, adapted from Intercourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook (not sure about the aphrodisiac part, but everything I've made out of here has been fantastic)

You will need:

  • 1 lb small potatoes, red, fingerling yukon, anything that boils up tasty w/out falling apart. (or more, depending on how many you're serving.)
  • 1/4 cup mayo, regular light or some combo of the two (not ever ever ever miracle whip)
  • 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • lots of lemon pepper
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 or two hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (I've found the pricier ones are worth it)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small chopped dill pickle (absolutely must be the crisp refrigerated kind)

  1. boil potatoes in salted water until tender, drain, cool and cut into bite size pieces
  2. in large bowl (not metal) mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and dill
  3. add lemon pepper to taste
  4. fold in egg, artichokes, red onion and pickles. add lemon pepper to taste
  5. fold potatoes into mixture, working in batches to get them thoroughly covered in sauce
  6. chill until you're ready to serve


almost summer strawberry salad

This week we received two baskets of strawberries in our farm box- with the warning to EAT RIGHT AWAY since late rain can make the fruit spoil quickly.

I decided to make a salad with some of them and it was fantastic!

You're going to need:
  • lots of delicious ripe red strawberries
  • a clove or two of garlic
  • anchovy paste (really, trust me, unless you're a vegetarian, then leave it out)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • mixed greens (spinach, red leaf lettuce, etc I think any leafy greens except iceberg lettuce will work)
  • raw almonds
I started by mincing the garlic clove with the anchovy paste (maybe 1/8 a tsp worth) in the awesome garlic mincer J. got me. If you don't eat meat (or are afraid of anchovies) I'd use just a little sea salt in place of the fish paste.

Then I put the garlic anchovy mixture into a large bowl and whisked in about three Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Next whisk in a Tbsp of balsamic vinegar.

Now slice or chop up your strawberries into sizes and shapes that make you happy. I cut mine in half the long way then made little half moon shapes out of those. I used about 2/3 a little green basket of strawberries.

Toss the berries in the vinaigrette and let the marinating begin. I kinda randomly mashed at a the strawberries a few times to encourage their juices to flow.

Grab a large handful of raw almonds and smash them up into little pieces (I use the side of a ball-peen hammer and a ziploc bag I keep on the counter solely for nut smashing) or you could be fancy and buy almond slivers.

Toss torn hand-fulls of your greens into the large bowl with the dressing, mixing as you go.

To finish it up sprinkle the salad top with the almonds, either in the large bowl if you're serving it that way, or in individual bowls if you swing that way.


(Feeds two adults one heaping bowl each)

I've been terrible about taking pictures of food lately, so you'll just need to imagine how vibrant and beautiful it was.