Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Roasted Potato Salad

Sweet, sweet summer. Lying lazily in the shade, looking up at the sparkling glimpses of sunlight in the trees. Drinking iced coffee, swimming, playing and laughing the days away. It's hard to believe we are at the end of August and summer 2011 will be history. But this potato salad is not only delicious on a hot summer's evening, but can be made with readily-available ingredients all year round.
Roasted Potato Salad
This is a hearty, comforting potato salad that looks and tastes much more elegant than its cousin Mayonaissa Potata.

about 6 red potatoes, sliced into bite-sized cubes
1 large onion, sliced thickly lengthwise
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
about 5 ribs celery, diced
finely chopped dill, to taste
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
Mustard Vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Toss cubed potatoes and sliced onions with olive oil. Spread in a single layer on baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown. Set potatoes aside. Make the vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients except olive oil until well combined. While whisking constantly, stream in olive oil gently until dressing emulsifies into a thick, glossy texture. Put roasted potatoes and onions in large bowl, and toss in diced celery and dill. Gently toss salad with vinaigrette.To toast pumpkin seeds, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast about 5- 10 minutes in the 375-degree oven. They should be lightly browned and puffed up. Garnish potato salad with toasted pumpkin seeds.

This salad can be served with still-warm potatoes from the oven, or marinated for hours, or even a few days, ahead of time. Either way it is delicious! If you don't like dill, use parsley or any herb of your choice. The dressing really relies on the flavor of the oil, so use the best-tasting extra virgin olive oil you have.

Bio-Intensive Life

We are so blissed-out in Sonoma County, learning the ins and outs of the bio-intensive system of gardening. Spending our days surrounded by overflowing beds teeming with organic produce, we come home dirty, sweaty and smiling. The bio-intensive system encourages double-digging(preparing the soil by digging twice as deeply as other gardening systems), close plant spacings and placing complementary plants side-by-side. The result is impressive yields of organic produce, even using limited space, water resources or poor quality soil. And best of all, following the Bio-Intensive system correctly will actually improve the health of your soil after each season of planting, by returning the nutrients through compost.

We are certainly still in the beginning stages of our knowledge about Bio-Intensive gardening, but we love what we are learning. Gardening is not just work, it's a way of life, and we are letting go of the last shreds of New York City-paced living and succumbing to the slow-jam rhythm of life in the garden. If you're interested in learning more about gardening, the Bio-Intensive system is fantastic for beginners and with a little care and love, you can reap the benefits of your organic garden.

To learn more about the Bio-Intensive method of farming and growing vegetables like these:

Up next: Roasted Potato Salad! Say yes to summer, look up at the shimmering leaves of trees, and try this truly special potato salad. Get blissed out; it's August!