Lemony Parsley & New Potato Salad with Peas


This is a bit of a last-minute throwtogether post -pardon the hasty photo- but I was so excited to see the launch of Summer Fest 2009, a four-week, cross-blog celebration co-created by A Way to Garden and some of my very favourite food people: Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl, Marilyn Pollack Naron of Simmer Till Done, and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project, and hey, I wanted to be a part of it. Today the theme is fresh herbs, a topic that I could easily spend a whole lot of time on, if I had it. Today I have more parsley than time. Flat-leaf Italian parsley appears to be the only thing (besides tomatoes – they are growing so well they may just escape over the neighbour’s fence) that truly thrives in the little clay pots littering my back patio. Good thing I love it so much.

I’m constantly making an effort to eat more greens. There’s always spinach, kale and chard, but Italian parsley is dark and leafy, and can be added here and there without taking over. The kicker is parsley is so often seen as a garnish; a sprinkle to make potato salad look prettier, rather than an ingredient in and of itself. I typically add entire bunches of it to grainy salads and lentil-barley salads, and recently discovered how well it blends into hummus. But today, with a surplus of nubbly potatoes the size of walnuts and freshly shelled peas, I thought I’d make an easy potato salad (I crave it about this time every summer) where Italian parsley has as much a presence as any other vegetable.

Usually I roast potatoes for salad – they are crispier and more flavourful, and don’t absorb as much mayo so you can get away with using less – but this one needed to be a little more delicate. Scrub and simmer the potatoes (fingerlings would be stunning here) just until tender, adding a handful of fresh peas a few minutes before the potatoes finish cooking. Drain the lot in a colander, run it under cool water to stop them from cooking, and refrigerate until cold.

For the dressing, add a generous squeeze of lemon (and some grated zest, for extra pow) to as much mayo as you want to use. (The quantity of juice is really up to you – according to your taste – but it will thin it enough to dress the salad well – more the consistency of a creamy ranch dressing than thick mayo.) Toss the potatoes and peas with this, tear over a large handful or two of Italian parsley, removing any tough stems, and add a good grinding of black pepper. Today I can’t think of a more welcome lunch.

As for Summer Fest, you can play too – just visit the aforementioned sites (they are all beautiful posts, all well worth a stroll through) and leave your comments – about herbs of all kinds, including links to your own posts if you like, or your favourite online finds – remembering of course that I love to get comments too.

Tuesday, July 28: HERBS (Any and all.)
Tuesday, August 4: FRUITS FROM TREES
Tuesday, August 11: BEANS-AND-GREENS WEEK
Tuesday, August 18: TOMATO WEEK

One Year Ago: Pizza on the grill, using Afghan flatbread


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13 comments on “Lemony Parsley & New Potato Salad with Peas

  1. mmac
    July 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    “Today I have more parsley than time.”

    I’d visit DWJ every day anyhow for your stories and food, but gems like this, with an over-the-shoulder nod to Paul and Art, guarantee I’ll always come back for more. Well done.

  2. ajdoula
    July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    The hummus recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook (well thumbed and gummed in our house), calls for ‘a big handful of parsley’ – I didn’t realize for years you could make it any way else!

  3. margo
    July 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Must be potato salad week: I made one with roasted white and sweet potatoes and onions, then added celery, and dressed the whole thing with leftover homemade caesar dressing. A total whim, but it seemed to work!

  4. margo
    July 28, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    …and I so should’ve added fresh herbs!! Basil would have been great with the caesar dressing, I think. Next time.

  5. Lana
    July 29, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Mmmmmm..today I am going to a cabin ALONE for three nights and I am now going to make the stop for these things on the way there. A perfect lunch! Thank you for the idea!

  6. Charmian Christie
    July 29, 2009 at 5:38 am

    I love the idea of using roasted potatoes for this. I’m not a mayo fan, preferring the vinaigrette dressings, but if the roasted potatoes use less mayo, perhaps this is a happy medium for me and my mayo-loving husband.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Summer Fest. I’ll definitely check it out.

  7. Margaret Roach
    July 29, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Now why didn’t *I* ever think of that? The only thing I hate about making potato salad form my new potatoes is how they crumble sometimes (usually) after boiling. Brilliant, and thank you for all the encouragement to help kick off our Summer Fest. Great day, great start.

  8. Cheryl Arkison
    July 29, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Definitely will be checking things out – I have some mallow that is begging to made into tabbouleh.

  9. WebGenii
    July 29, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Try Parsley salad:

    1 – 2 bunches parsley finely chopped
    1 mild onion finely chopped
    3 – 4 coarsely chopped tomatoes
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds

    Whisk together dressing ingredients and add sunflower seeds to pick up the lemon flavour while you chop the parsley, onions and tomatoes.
    Mix everything together. It will improve over the next couple of days (if it lasts that long).

  10. Erin W.
    July 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Sending a link to an article about the importance of food stylists — in this case, on the movie set — nice to be appreciated sometimes, no? E. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/dining/29movie.html?_r=1

  11. Paige Orloff
    July 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Yum. Did I mention, yum? I love potato salad, I share your deep appreciation for parsley, and this sounds divine. I use a lot of parsley, too, whether when roasting chicken, making a tabbouleh-like salad with quinoa and lots of lemon and olive oil, in pesto (half parsley, half basil is a good combo) and on and on. So happy to have discovered your blog, thanks to your enthusiasm for SummerFest, and can’t wait to dig in, and cook!

  12. Carol SB
    July 30, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Oh how I wish my family loved parsley as much as I do. (Dad’s GF, a fantastic cook, pronounces it “Paarzlie” which makes it sound even more tasty). Summer and herbs: I love how the tired food in my fridge, like the pasta I should have eaten yesterday but I was too full of kebab and pita, is awoken by a few tips of basil and a snip of chives… the cilantro in my salad… the drift of *any* finely chopped herbs on my cheese sandwich wakes my mouth.

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