You know what is a pretty broad term? Salad.
I feel like I’ve said this same thing many times before, actually I know I have, but it’s as true as ever. Where I grew up in the southern part of the States, every gathering with friends or church potluck was proof of this fact. It may even surprise some of you to know that it’s a common thing to make dessert salads in the mid-west. I kid you not, one popular version of that type of salad includes marshmallows, cherries, and whipped cream. My mom used to make it a lot for parties and we loved it.
I’m just saying, a “salad” doesn’t always refer to a boring pile of greens. In this case I’m calling today’s recipe a salad for lack of a better term, but it could also be called a side dish or something similar. Basically it’s a great way to serve potatoes regardless of what name it’s given.
One of my favorite parts of cooking this time of year are all the herbs and spices that go with the Holiday season. Speaking of which, I’m getting overly ecstatic about how close it is now! Okay, but if I go into that right now I won’t be able to control my desire to chatter your ears off about it. I’ll save my excitement for later and continue what I was saying about herbs.
So we’ve got this little sage plant (named Yoda by the way, isn’t that perfect?) that hasn’t been toughing out the last of the cold weather very well and I thought was going to die on me. As it turns out though, he’s been well named and is a little fighter starting to thrive with the coming of Spring. I keep forgetting to use the fresh sage in my recipes, but I’ve really got to stop because using the fresh leaves is so much better than dried.
Oh, and I’m also starting some cilantro with these seeds that Josh picked up for me the other day. He, Diego, and Jacob went to a flea market last week and I have to tell you, their little excursion resulted in two different really funny things.
The first was that, Jacob and Josh both picked up things for my sisters. (For those of you who don’t know, Jacob and Josh are brothers, Josh is married to Liv, my older sister, and Jacob is dating Jenya, my younger sister.) Jacob got some gorgeous calla lilies for Jenya and Josh got some fresh chamomile for Liv. The humor in this was with the presentation.
Jacob’s gift was lovingly handled and delivered as if they’d come straight from a florist, while Josh’s gift for Liv was more for practical purposes (she’s been really into natural herbs and stuff lately), so it was a little bit crumpled and stuffed into a bag. Liv looked at the two gifts side by side and couldn’t help stating what a perfect picture it made of the different stages in relationships. It’s so true and we all had a big laugh over it.
Okay, the second thing was these hot peppers that they also found. The woman selling them told the guys how these peppers are infamous for being the hottest around here and also that they have some very colorful names that (eh hem……) I won’t repeat in case there are kids around.
I don’t know if you know this, but guys can be really competitive and they love nothing more than the challenge of who can take the most heat. Yeah, so later that day there ended up being a showdown of pepper tasting with everyone (even the girls actually), and I have to say it was entertaining. Haha, I think we went through at least one gallon of milk just for cooling tongues. So hilarious.
Alright, I’m finally getting back to this recipe, sorry for the babbling. What I loved about this dish is how it’s great served cold like a typical potato salad but serving it hot is perfect during the Fall and Winter seasons when you’re wanting a cozier touch.
One last thing, the pesto, omg! There are so many other things that you can do with the pesto besides just putting it with potatoes, but that is definitely a brilliant way to use it if I do say so myself.
- 4 - 5 large Idaho or russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons (one small handful) fresh sage leaves, washed
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 3 large cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking tray with foil. Combine all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until mostly smooth, with a little texture remaining.
- Toss the potato cubes with about 1/2 of the pesto and spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 35 - 45 minutes until fork tender and nicely browned, turn halfway through cooking with spatula. Remove and cool for about 5 minutes, then serve hot as a side dish or first course topped with desired amount of the rest of your pesto. Other options; you can add meat to finish the dish and make it a meal. It's also great served cold during warmer seasons.