Do you love asparagus like I do? Cause I really, really love it. I also love that it's a harbinger of spring eating, and even though we can technically buy it at the store year-round, I try not to. Waiting until the spring for asparagus is one of the first seasonal-buying lessons I learned when I started learning to cook. Plus, I like the fact that I can get excited about a vegetable.
It's like the beauty pageant version of broccoli. The diva of the vegetable world. I scan the market for its stalks as if I were checking for grass shoots. It's tall and lean and might be usable as a paintbrush, in a pinch. Plus it's awesome in salads of all kinds, especially this yummy potato salad full of herbs and lemony, light flavors. All it needs is a quick steam and a plunge in some ice water to set the color, and you've got spring in a bowl!
springtime potato salad
- 2 1/2 pounds waxy yellow or white potatoes (I used Yukon golds), in 3/4" cubes
- 1/2 a bunch of asparagus (about 15 stalks), in 1" slices
- juice of two lemons, plus the zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 or 3 shakes of the Tabasco bottle
- 2 teaspoons Creole mustard (or other grainy mustard)
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Bring 1" of water to a boil in a pot with a steamer basket set over the water. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the potatoes to the steamer basket (in batches if necessary), and steam for about 15 minutes, until cooked through but not mushy. Drain the potatoes on paper towel-lined plates until they stop steaming, then place in a shallow container and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the other parts of the salad (chilling the potatoes helps them keep their shape).
- Add the asparagus to the steamer basket and steam for about 6 minutes, until tender with a little crispness left to them. Drain and drop in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. When they're cool, drain the ice water and put in the fridge to chill.
- Combine the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper, vinegar, Tabasco, and mustard in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, then taste; add more salt and pepper, vinegar, or Tabasco if you like.
- Add the potatoes, asparagus, and green onions to a large mixing bowl; pour the dressing over and toss very gently (hands are best for this). Chill again if desired. Stir in the cherry tomatoes just before serving.
makes 6 side-dish servings