Monday, August 29, 2011

Quinoa Bean Potato Salad

Potato salad is alright. I mean, if you like mushy potatoes swimming in too much mayonnaise and maybe some egg or something. And maybe I'm biased because I was raised in a virtually mayonnaise free household but I think traditional pot salad is rather icky and uninspiring. I also think pot salad gets a bad wrap and I blame it on mayonnaise.

The good news is, pot salad can change. It can easily be pushed outside of its mayonnaisey box into a whole new world of citrus, tang and enthusiastic eatability.

And there's no better time to come up with a new and interesting bowl of potato salad than the dog days of summer. These perfect lazy sunny days right before school starts, chock full of barbecues with friends, sunshine, music, tee ball and anticipation.

I am currently loving this potato salad because it's light, tangy and delicious, boasting fresh lemon juice and zest paired with delicious dill and of course, garlic.

I also decided to go ahead and push the bounds of traditional carbohydrated potato salad by including a little protein in the form of quinoa and fresh veg by way of green beans, carrot and kohlrabi. Remember that pickled kohlrabi? Here's another use for it!

Not only is it very tasty, it's really pretty too. And there is something to be said about bright colorful salads laid out on a barbecue table for the eating. Especially because summer is coming to a close people; and like white shoes, potato salad just isn't the same after Labor Day.

3/4 cup dry quinoa

1 1/2 cup water
About 20 fingerling potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
About 6-8 baby red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
2 lemons, zested
2 lemons, juiced (note: use the same lemons for juice and zest :))
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 Tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3/4 cup carrot, shredded
3/4 to 1 cup pickled kohlrabi, chopped
About 50 green beans, de-ended

Combine water and quinoa in a pot. Add a bit of salt and boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover. Cook, gradually reducing heat as the water is absorbed. Once fully absorbed, turn heat off, fluff then let cool.

In a large pot, combine fingerling and baby red potatoes then cover with water. Boil until just tender. Do not over cook. Once done, drain and run cold water over top to stop the cooking process.

While your quinoa and potatoes are cooking, zest lemon onto a plate and set aside.

In a jar, combine lemon juice, garlic, agave nectar, mustard, dill, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Seal and shake until emmulsified. Set aside.

In another pot, combine green beans, water and a bit of salt. Bring to a boil and cook beans until just barely al-dente. Note: you want them to be a bit crunchy.

Have a bowl of ice and water ready. When beans are crunch al-dente, use tongs to transfer beans only into the bowl of ice and water. This will stop the cooking process and maintain the bean's bright green color.

When cool, slice beans into bite sized pieces, about 1/2 inch. Put them into a large bowl and add red onion, shredded carrot and pickled kohlrabi.

When potatoes and quinoa are cooled, add them to the bowl along with most of the lemon zest. Reserve a bit for garnish. Gently (gently) stir to combine. You want to be gentle as to not mush the potatoes too much.

Give your dressing another good shake then pour on top. Gently fold everything together to ensure even dressing coverage.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to fully marry. Before serving, give the salad another gentle toss, garnish with remaining zest and you're ready to serve.

This salad is amazing on its own and you don't even have to feel guilty because it's not just carbs. It is also packed with protein and veg.

It's also great alongside any type of barbecue food which makes it friendly for everyone. Even the carnivores.



  1. I can attest that it was indeed delicious and will likely be on our dinner plates tonight! :)

  2. Teri... I'm so glad you liked it! Enough to take the leftovers :)



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