Entries in Salad (2)


German Inspired Potato Salad

It is new potato time of year here. Those of you to the south and west of us here in Nova Scotia may be thinking, ‘what, it’s been new potato time for a while now Leah, wake up.’ Really though, they are just getting plentiful here.

I truly believe that there is not much finer than a new potato smothered in a healthy amount of butter and salt and pepper. There are occasions, however, when something a little bit more composed is called for. There are also occasions when getting half of supper done ahead of time is a nice treat as well.

I thought, for the odd day when it is actually warm enough that you don’t want to cook, that this makes a nice change to the mayonnaise doused potato salad that is a summer staple and which I love. Sadly, my behind and hips love it too much. So, to lighten things up we had this the other day.

Sometimes, I might be inclined to add some bacon, nicely crisped, to this. There were two reasons I didn’t on this occasion. The first, that there was already beef, bangers and  chicken going on the barbecue and the bacon just seemed excessive. For the second, you should reread the previous paragraph and, as with the first reason, the bacon just seemed excessive.

People may say that this should be served warm, and they would be correct. It is very nice warm. If you would rather go to the beach until supper time, I think it is perfectly acceptable to make it ahead of time and, if you really want to have it warm, put it in a heatproof bowl on the warming rack of your barbecue while everything else cooks. It is, cold or hot, a very fine potato salad.

German Inspired Potato Salad (Warm or Cold)

2 pounds small new potatoes halved


1/4 red onion finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons green onion finely sliced

1/2 cup chopped parsley (a handful)

In a medium pot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to allow a gentle boil and cook until just tender. It is important not to overcook them. It will take about ten minutes, once they are boiling

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them well and transfer them to a baking tray.

Heat the vinaigrette in a small pot just until it boils. Remove from heat and gently pour over the potatoes. After a few minutes, gently turn the potatoes, making sure the vinaigrette coats them completely.

Cool, or don’t, and serve.


A Little Roasted for Your Crunch

There seems to have been a recent glut of broccoli in California. Our local market has literally had tons of it, all shapes and varieties, for cheap. Consequently, we have been eating it a lot.

Looking for a little something outside the steamed broccoli realm, I thought about the ubiquitous Broccoli Crunch Salad. It really is everywhere. It sits on salad bars in every corner of North America. You can buy a kit to make it in your local big box store. 

There is nothing really wrong with it. It is, usually, pretty tasty. A creamy dressing with some sweetness and some tang coat raw broccoli florets (I really don’t like that word), tossed with some sort of nut, raisins or dried cranberries adding some extra sweetness, and usually there is some salty bacon in there. It ticks all the boxes of taste and texture to qualify as a salad. I’ll even admit to scoffing quite a lot of it more than once or twice.

The thing is is that when I eat salad, I want to feel a little virtuous; a little bit like I am doing my body a favour. The creamy dressing and bacon while tasty, sometimes measure up a little heavy.

The raw broccoli is really delicious but I am going to admit that I think it is a little bit like hard work. I know it sounds like I want all the benefits without the effort but my jaw is almost sore after eating it sometimes. I knew that steaming the broccoli would wind up in a big soggy mistake unless it was treated to nothing but the shortest of steam baths. Roasting the broccoli, like I do cauliflower, seemed like a good and flavour intensifying idea though. You can still preserve some of the crunch as well.

To be honest, I have been roasting all of our brassicas, even the cauliflower for cauliflower and cheese. Everyone has been eating it up.

I lightened up the dressing for the salad by using a slightly sweet vinaigrette with a little bit of nuttiness from some toasted sesame oil. There will be twice as much vinaigrette as you need but it is a handy thing to have in your fridge, just store it in the jar you shake it in. The raisins and onions soak in the vinaigrette for as long as you have time to let them. The raisins plump and the onions mellow so the longer they soak the plumper and mellower your salad will be.

I skipped the bacon, to much guffawing, but you could easily toss some in if you need it. 

This makes quite a lot but two adults and two children polished all but a tiny bit off in one meal.

Roasted Broccoli Salad

8 cups broccoli cut into small flowerlike pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup toasted almond slivers


2 tablespoons grainy mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450º.

Toss the broccoli pieces with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, until they are spot browned. Remove from oven and cool.

Put the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar that will hold at least 250ml (1 cup). Put the lid on the jar and shake until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Check the bottom of the jar and make sure that all the honey is mixed in and isn’t stuck to the bottom.

In a medium bowl, use whatever bowl you want to serve this in, soak the raisins and onions in about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.

Just before serving, toss the roasted and cooled broccoli and the toasted almonds in the vinaigrette.