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Day 222: Mustard-Dill Potato and Asparagus Salad

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:03pm
I've been cooking a lot this summer, but not updating this blog as much as I'd like. I'm done teaching summer school now, though, and I have a whole week off before I go back to start the new year. So I'm going to schedule a few blog posts to get me through the first hectic days of the fall semester.

We went to Haymarket last weekend, as we often do, to pick up a ton of inexpensive produce. We found some lovely fingerling and baby red potatoes that I just had to buy ... but what could I make out of them? It's been too hot to do roasted or baked potatoes, and I don't like mayonnaise (or the vegan alternatives), so potato salad seemed out of the question. Until I asked myself, "Hey ... why does potato salad have to have mayo in it?" And this recipe was born:

Mustard-Dill Potato and Asparagus Salad

Ingredients:
About 2 pounds of assorted potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 1/2 bunches asparagus, trimmed* and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c. chopped chives
1/4 c. chopped dill, not packed

1/4 c. olive oil
zest of one medium lemon
juice of two medium lemons
1 1/2 t. dry ground mustard (or less if you don't like much spice)

salt and pepper

*To trim asparagus, hold both ends. Bend the bottom end until it breaks off. This will get rid of the part that's too tough to eat. You can toss it, compost it, or save it and use it to make your own veggie stock.

Directions:
  1. Put the potato chunks into a large pot. Cover them with water, about an inch above them. Boil until tender (about 15 minutes, depending on how small you cut them).
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, steam the asparagus until it is slightly tender, but still crisp. (I did this by putting it into a microwave-safe dish with a couple of tablespoons of water. My old, low-wattage microwave took 5 minutes. Most would take less.)
  3. Combine potatoes, asparagus, chives, and dill in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and mix well using a rubber spatula or large plastic serving spoon. Be careful not to break up the potatoes too much.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least half an hour before serving.
This was filling enough to be eaten as a main dish, and it got better the longer it sat in the fridge!
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