The man with the colorful knit hat picked up a guitar and began to strum a tune. Someone sitting across the redwood balcony over-looking the tall Colorado pines began thumping on an African Djembe drum. Ric picked up an acoustic guitar and began playing, our host joined in on a small bass and soon another friend was singing along.
This is how the evening went, a pot-luck gathering of musicians and friends, making music and enjoying each other’s company at a cabin tucked in the beauty of the Rockies. These are the kinds of get-togethers I love…simple and laid back, with easy-going food to match.
I made a large delicious and healthy potato and asparagus salad. It is a different take on my Spanish Potatoes dish. No mayo in this potato salad, only a great mix of veggies, fresh herbs and a savory vinaigrette spiked with some lemon zest to give it a little pop of unexpected citrus. This is a large recipe to serve at gatherings or parties. You can easily cut the recipe in half for a smaller group.
- ¾ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- Zest from 1 lemon
- In a small bowl, mix together the ¾ cup olive oil, vinegar, mustard and lemon zest.
- Bruise the garlic by gently hitting it with the flat side of a knife or mallet. Add the whole piece of garlic to the vinaigrette (doing this will impart the essence of the garlic to the dressing without being overwhelming).
- Set aside.
|Potato and Asparagus Salad|
- 3 pounds new potatoes, rinsed and quartered
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough lower stalk removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pint tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- 1 red onion, quartered and then sliced thin
- 2 sweet bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red), roasted, cored, skins removed and julienned
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, chopped roughly (I used oregano, thyme and basil out of my garden)
- Summer Salad Vinaigrette (recipe above)
- Place the potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water and cook until just tender. The timing will depend on the size of the potatoes but it should take about 15- 25 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and run some cold water over them.
- Place them in a large bowl to cool.
- While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil over low/medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until they are transparent and slightly caramelized.
- Just before removing the onions from from the heat, add the asparagus and toss.
- Cook the asparagus for just a minute or two until they are bright green and tender but crisp.
- Remove the onions and asparagus from the heat and add to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Add the peppers to the potato mixture.
- Remove the garlic from the vinaigrette and pour just enough dressing over the vegetables to coat them.
- Cover and chill.
- Right before serving, add the tomatoes, fresh herbs and additional dressing and toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.