Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

berry potato salad text Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

We’re back in the city, back to eating on the back porch where all the appliances and boxes and torn-out stuff isn’t, back to walking Lou on the sidewalk instead of the beach. What I miss most about having a stove on this particular day is the ability to cook potatoes – the new ones with the thin skins that are just being pulled out of the dirt and sold in farmers’ markets. I could live on these sweet baby potatoes, for awhile, anyway – forked and doused in butter and lemon, with steak and gremolata, or in an uber-creamy potato salad. (It’s not just for picnics anymore.)

Berry potato salad Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

My pal Chef Michael Allemeier, one of the best chefs around, the guy who taught me to proof bread in a warm, steamy dishwasher after it finishes a load, came up with this recipe. It has blackberries (!) and fresh mint, along with all the other things that make a potato salad great, plus a hit of cream for maximum creaminess. I love that he uses peppery arugula and balsamic vinegar – this isn’t evident in the photo because when I pulled out my arugula, it was all shades of yellow, and my garden is struggling this year. If you have some, go for the greens.

Creamy Potato Salad with Berries and Mint

Recipe from Chef Michael Allemeier for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

5 medium yellow-fleshed potatoes (about 2 lbs./1 kg)
2 hard cooked eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp grainy or Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts only)
1/4 cup loosely packed, thinly sliced fresh mint
salt
2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves, stems removed
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Scrub potatoes and dice into 3/4-inch pieces. Cook in large pot of salted water until tender. Drain well; let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash eggs with a fork. Whisk in mayonnaise, whipping cream, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, onions and mint, until creamy. Add warm potatoes to dressing; season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To serve, in a medium bowl, toss berries, arugula and balsamic vinegar; reserve some of the berries and arugula. Fold berry mixture into potato salad. Serve in a bowl or on a platter; garnish with reserved berries and arugula. Serves 6.

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August 17 2014 | salads and veg | 4 Comments »

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Chocolate quinoa cake recipe Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Once in awhile, I come across a recipe that really blows me away – not only because it’s delicious, but because it utilizes some original technique I would never have thought of. This chocolate quinoa cake is a perfect example – it’s not made with quinoa flour, but actual cooked quinoa, whizzed into a batter with sugar and eggs and cocoa, then baked into this rich, dark cake that has a texture better than any gluten-free cake I’ve tried. Just look at it! It tastes as good as it looks.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake 2 Quinoa Chocolate Cake

It comes from Patricia and Carolyn, authors of the superhit cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, a book you may have seen practically everywhere for the past few years. It came at a time when quinoa was new and exotic, and people weren’t sure what to do with it. I made this cake years ago, and people keep asking about it – I just realized I never did post it here, and so here you go. I know a lot of you are often on the lookout for gluten-free and/or grain free birthday cakes that are delicious enough to make even for avid eaters of grains and gluten, and this is it.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Adapted (only slightly) from Patricia and Carolyn. It makes pretty tasty cupcakes too – they’ll come out fairly flat, which doesn’t matter one bit when you’re topping them with frosting.

2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 8-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper – this cake is very moist, and it will make removing them much safer.

In a blender, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla; add the cooked quinoa and the melted butter and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the blender and pulse until well blended.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pans before running a thin knife around the edges and inverting them onto plates. Frost if you like, or serve dusted with icing sugar.

Makes 1 layer cake, or two layers.

pixel Quinoa Chocolate Cake
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August 13 2014 | cake | 14 Comments »

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