Monday, June 6, 2011

I'll Take You On A Picnic For Two: Potato Salad with Cashew Mayo

Cashew mayo potato salad

One of the problems that comes with living in a climate with very extreme seasons is that when it rains it pours. Literally and metaphorically. My last post was all about the literal version of raining and pouring (and kudos to you all, by the way, for knowing exactly what unsettling sci fi movie it was that my mother exposed me to at an impressionable young age) and this time I'm thinking about the metaphorical interpretation.

There's no one reason why posts have been scarce these past two weeks, rather there are a million reasons. Or at least it feels that way. Everyone is out of hibernation and the rain has (finally) given it a rest, so things! are! happening! Everywhere! Me, I spent the last week desperately trying to finish a quilt for a coworker who is retiring, beginning to pack up our house for our impending (this month!) move, racing to get caught up on things for my actual worky work, and trying to plan out the coming month so it doesn't eat me alive.

There's fun stuff too! Don't get me wrong. Big bike rides, an upcoming local punk rock fest, an upcoming Elvis Costello show in a park, long dog walks, farmer's markets, visiting friends in their cool back yards and awesome new houses. It's great, but it's leaving me less time for cooking and coming up with new recipes.

Cashew mayo potato salad

But never fear! The warmer weather has actually been bringing about a bit of summer cooking around here, starting with this excellent potato salad. It was inspired by two recipes that I saw while poking around on food blogs a while ago. The gluten-free, vegan, raw one used jicama instead of potatoes, which didn't really seem like my kind of thing, so I checked out the Smitten Kitchen recipe for some further inspiration. This resulted in the frankenrecipe you see here.

It was totally delicious. Creamy and flavourful and very summery. I was sad when The Man of Science ate the last of it one day before I got home from work, because I'd actually been thinking about it on my way home. He had no idea that I wanted to eat it, so I don't blame him, but I did take away one lesson from this experience: if you like it then you shoulda put your name on it.

Cashew mayo potato salad

New Potato Salad with Cashew Mayo

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped small or microplaned
2 tbsp olive oil

the rest of it:
2 pounds new potatoes, halved
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Drain and rinse the cashews, then put them in a food processor or blender with all other dressing ingredients, except for the olive oil.

Blend or process the cashew mixture until it is as smooth as possible. This might take a few minutes.

With the machine still going, drizzle the olive oil in very slowly and keep blending until the mixture thickens.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are tender enough to stick a skewer through, but not mushy.

Drain potatoes and rinse with cold water.

NOTE: If you mix your dressing with warm potatoes it might curdle, so make sure the potatoes are at room temperature before moving on.

Add potatoes, celery, and dill to a large bowl then pour on about 2/3 cup dressing and toss. Add more dressing if you like.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

We ate this as a main dish with a side of asparagus (yum) and it served two of us with a bit left over. If you were serving it as a side dish, you could easily feed four people, maybe even five or six.



Brigid said...

That sounds delicious! I've been looking for a creamy vegan potato salad recipe that didn't involve Vegenaise.

Caitlin said...

i love the idea of cashew mayo! i'd much rather make my own nut mayo than buy vegenaise ;)

Blake said...

this might not work in your veggie friendly house hold. but in my house when i want to keep something for myself i hide it in the vegetable drawer. nobody ever looks for the good stuff there!

tweal said...

Mmmm this sounds and looks good. Nothing says summer like creamy tangy potato salad.

the [sugar] apothecary said...

Ooooh! Glorious vegan picnic food! Agh, looks so good. Summertime is a-coming!

Sarah B @ Bake + Bike said...

YESSS I think this is my dream potato salad recipe. Cashew mayo plus dill...oh my...

It's decided: I am making this as soon as I get my hands on some cashews and a food processor.

ps. Isn't the belated summer weather fantastic? It's finally heated up here in BC too, and I've been soaking up as much sun as possible!

Sarah said...

Potato salad is so iconically summer and picnic!