Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red White and Blue Potato Salad

Yesterday was u-pick raspberries. Today was u-pick cherries. Oh this ripe fruit in california! And, it cooled down to the low 80's yesterday just in time to pick. My girlfriends and I have our own social network of dates, times and farms to pick every summer. It is like clockwork every June. Today at the cherry u-pick, I was the first customer to pick sour cherries. 6 pounds later I was dreaming about my 4th of July pie.
We have acclimated back to life since our airplane ride. M seems ok too. I have thought many times about that family and how they are. It is interesting how life just keeps going, and I have already integrated this experience into my mind.
One thing I realized on my Chicago trip is how much of a Californian I have become. In the ten short years I have adapted to the country life and its pace. Farms, food, rivers, people, weather and style. Perhaps it is age, but I feel that now I have found my lifestyle niche. I am always happy to come home to the golden hills of california.
This week I made Red, White and Blue Potato salad twice. Usually I do not make my own recipes more than once. I know that must sound a bit crazy. It is like I get it out of my system and then move on to the next creation. But I craved this salad so much that I made it three days later. I was telling my friend Kate about it today and she pointed out it was red, white and blue (with green thrown in)!! Red beets, white chevre, and blue potatoes. Duh. How did that escape me? I had thought it a great 4th of July recipe because it was a potato salad. But, this makes it an official 4th of July salad! I realize though, that beets are the deal breaker. My husband for example, does not particularly care for beets. I like them. I do not love them however like my daughter does. But with our farm share starting, we are going to get beets, and I am going to keep eating them, conspiring ways to eat them in the most tasty fashion.  So, if you like beets, this might be a great addition to your 4th of July table. I really liked how the sweetness of the beets contrasted the peppery arugula. The potatoes and chevre brought everything together. The snap peas bring an unexpected crunch and sweetness to the whole dish. I imagine you could even add a couple of crumbled hard boiled eggs on top. Well, happy holiday everyone!

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

2 cups boiled blue potatoes cut into 2 inch cubes (purple would be fine too)
1 cup sugar snap peas (shelled or if tender cut into 1 inch pieces with pods)
1 1/2 cups steamed or roasted beets cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (roasting will have better flavor)
1 4oz. package chevre at room temperature
1-2 tsp. vinegar of choosing (I used cabernet vinegar)
zest of one large lemon
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 tbls (or more if needed) good quality olive oil
2 1/2 cups fresh baby arugula washed
salt to taste

I placed sugar snap peas in a colander and poured the potatoes and the water I had boiled them in over the peas to slightly blanch the peas. You could also just blanch them separate if you like. Drain well and set aside.
Place steamed or roasted cubed beets in mixing bowl. Add olive oil, salt, zest, lemon juice and vinegar. Add the potatoes and snap peas. Mix gently and then add chevre. Mix gently to combine, but only a little bit so you still have some little chunks of chevre left. Add arugula and mix again just to incorporate. The heat of the potatoes and beets will wilt the arugula slightly. This is what you want. Potatoes will be starting to fall apart by now, but be careful not to mix too much.


dreaminitvegan said...

So many people who live out here are from or around the Chicago area. My mother-in-law is from there and I have many friends from there as well.

Sounds like fun picking fruit with your friends. We are so lucky to live amongst farms, close to rivers, etc. We appreciate it too. It's nice to hear you acclimated so well.

We are going to pick berrie up the street today for pie! Yum! Enjoy your 4th!

Becky said...

That looks pretty good, even though I don't eat potatos!

One of my fondest childhood memories is of eating home canned freshly grown pickled beets that my grandma used to give me. Divine. She is my last surviving grandparent and has no recollection of it whatsoever.... so obviously that recipe is long gone. Anyhow, I was wondering if you've ever tried pickling the beets from farm share for Mae to enjoy over a longer period? They are quite delicious.

Jessica said...

Dreaminitvegan..any pie ideas? I am doing sour cherry/blueberry for the 4th, but fall short in pie inspiration...
Becky..I should pickle beets. Great idea. Kids love pickles. And you could use them a million different ways; thanks!

heather said...

I love beets!!!! Love 'em. Love the dirt taste. But, I am alone in this in my family. I do wish, however, that I had this recipe for our beach 4th of july! It sounds so good....even if I had to eat it all myself! :)
miss you.xo

Anonymous said...

i love reading this; being away from home is making me feel detached from home. so reading this is making me remember how much i do love those golden hills and how somehow, not quite sure how, they have become home to this east coast ocean girl. thank you for the heartfelt reminder...and for the great recipe! cant wait to make when back in MY kitchen! x


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