I thought my final salad of Salad Month would be a crowning glory of a greens masterpiece, but in fact it turned out to be based on the humble potato.
March 31: Creamy Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs
I planned Easter dinner for 8 people around half a bone-in ham I picked up at Joe’s Meat Shoppe on Friday.
At Philbrick’s, I perused the produce and liked the looks of these baby white potatoes. I thought I would roast them. But after purchasing the potatoes, I realized the oven would be in use warming the ham for a couple of hours before our mid-afternoon meal.
I also wanted some things to be “do ahead” so I could visit with family members coming from Cape Cod and Boston, Mass., and Waterville Valley, N.H.
Other than ye humble potato, there was some nice green in the potato salad too – celery, scallions, parsley and a small amount of tarragon.
I used this recipe from Bon Appetit by way of Epicurious.
I used baby white instead of new potatoes – both are lower in starch than big white potatoes and therefore hold together better when tossed with dressing. I used fresh tarragon instead of basil (because I had some in the fridge, and it goes with potatoes, mayo and vinegar) and the dill was dried instead of fresh, and I doubled the amount of celery and scallions in the recipe.
I think the key to this salad’s great flavor was the way the rice wine vinegar sharpens up ordinary mayo. The grated lemon peel is also a great addition.
Three bunches of beautiful rainbow carrots were also on the menu.
I used this recipe, which is sort of a warm “salad” because of the vinaigrette: Balsamic Roasted Carrots.
I thought these carrots were a bit more flavorful and a bit less sweet than the common orange carrot, but I’m not sure I could confirm that with a blindfold tasting. I will definitely look for them again.
I will not try to grow them because we have terrible luck with carrots.
Delicious ham (with a bit of grainy mustard as a condiment), sweet and balsamic-savory carrots, haricots verts blanched then warmed in a pan with butter and celery salt just before serving, and of course the potato salad.
Reviews trended toward rave, but we did have a lot of wine too… and good family fellowship… and doesn’t that make everything taste better?
Anna made the braided challah bread, a special centerpiece that was egg-rich and delicious. It was a happy Easter.
And so ends salad month. I did it. I made it through March. I didn’t skip a day. I got my greens. I learned a lot. And I got in the habit of eating better and writing daily.
I type this on Monday morning, April 1st. It is 44 degrees. Skies are clearing after nighttime rain. Chance of showers and high of 56 forecast for today. Yesterday was sunny and in the mid 50s. The snow has retreated to just a few white patches.
Looking back, I see that the first day of March was raining and snowing, with a high of 41 degrees. On March 1, sunrise was at 6:18 a.m. and sunset at 5:33 p.m., an 11 hour and 15 minute day.
Today the sunrise was at 6:23 a.m., sunset will be at 7:10 p.m., a day length of 12 hours and 47 minutes. We have gained one hour and 32 minutes of light in one month. Nice.
My salad-a-day challenge was not just for self-improvement and getting through my least favorite month in New England, it will count toward my repetitive project assignment for Food Writing class. I will be making something of it soon, in roughly 3,000 words.
I will be linking these Chloris Project posts to my amykane.net blog and writing more – about everything, or anything – there.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – T. S. Eliot