Documenting the struggles of one woman trying to live recipe-free.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Rainbow Chard Potato Salad
The CSA gods have been plentiful in bestowing us with rainbow chard this summer. After using it in soup and eating them braised, I wanted to find yet another tasty way of using this beautiful vegetable in order to combat some of the boredom I could feel creeping on as this had been the 4th week in a row that we ended up with rainbow chard in our fridge.
Also in the CSA basket that week: new potatoes and dill. Potato salad immediately came to mind, and in a true moment of CSA serendipity, I wondered what would happen if I put the chard in the potato salad? I thought that the pretty stems, when chopped, kind of looked like celery (a potato salad staple, of course), only the bright colors would hopefully pop against the creamy white color of the potato and the dark, green of the chard leaves. If anything, this would hopefully be a feast for the eyes if not for the stomach.
But thankfully it turned out to be a feast for both. The potatoes kept their firmness, thanks to the waxy flesh, while the stems added crunch as well as color, and the leaves added crispness-- kind of like a salad nicoise only without the tuna... and the green beans, come to think of it. Of course, maybe I was more spellbound by how cool and refreshing this salad was on a hot day of 103 degrees (in Seattle-- record breaking!) and that it was kind of comforting after my second day of writing substantive law essays for the bar exam. Despite those specialized circumstances, I think this might be worth a try next time you're looking for a potato salad idea to bring to a bbq or potluck!
1 bunch rainbow chard 1.5 lbs new potatoes 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped 1 small clove fresh garlic, minced 1 tbsp cider vinegar 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp sour cream salt and pepper to taste
Scrub the potatoes clean then cut into bite sized pieces and throw into a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add some salt once the water starts boiling and bring down to a medium simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes or until you can pierce a piece of potato (alliteration!) with a fork. While the potatoes are cooking, chop the stems off the chard and trim off any tough looking ends. Chop into smallish, 1/4 inch sized pieces then rough chop the leaves. Put these in a colander in your sink.
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them into the colander holding your chard so that the hot water wilts the leaves but doesn't over cook them. Rinse lightly with cold water then spread out your potatoes and chard on a sheet pan so they can cool and dry out faster.
In the meantime, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes and chard and gently toss, trying not to break up the potatoes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This has been a year of terrible personal loss and and terrifying challenges in the form of finishing law school and trying to find a job in this economy. So although the world probably does not need another food blog, I started this as a means of keeping my head above water, to keep me balanced and sane, and to keep tabs on my culinary experimentations. The goal is to live recipe free, to be one of those home cooks who can look at what's available in my community supported agriculture (CSA) share box, on sale at the store, in my husband's garden, or leftover in my refrigerator and transform it into something delicious. I'm translating my efforts into recipes that I can look back on to improve upon or if someone who stumbles on this wants to try it out at home and give me ideas for improvement.
I have no formal cooking training. Anything I know has been gleaned from watching cooking shows, reading food blogs/cookbooks/magazines, and trial and error. I can't say that what I post here is worth replicating at home, but people in my house found it tasty so I'm posting it here primarily for my future reference. Also, if you're a stickler for precise measurements, most of mine are estimates unless it came in a package that told me how much was in it.