Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer Potato Salad With Arugula

Last weekend, my Sprouts and I hit the road for a much-needed getaway. What a TREAT!! Our destination: a sweet little vacation rental in lovely Hood River, Oregon.

My kids were excited to see their Aunties, watch the kiteboarding that Hood River is famous for, and explore; I was excited to just get out of town, spend time with family, hang out somewhere besides my own boring house with maybe a little wine-tasting and porch-sitting thrown in.

In keeping with the blog, I'll mostly share the foodie part of the weekend, but rest assured, we did much more than just eat!

So, because I wasn't sure what items were available in town, we brought all our own food (And because my kids can eat anyone out of house and home in mere minutes.) I also wasn't sure their Aunties - my sisters - were grocerially prepared for such an onslaught. (Yes, I made up the word "grocerially, don't go trying to Google it.) Fortunately, I'm blessed with siblings who will willingly eat - and even cook!! - vegan food which made the weekend even better!

The first night, after settling in and enjoying the view of the river, my Middle Sprout whipped up some most delicious pizza, complete with Daiya vegan (and very melty) cheese and Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper Spread.

Being that one of my sisters is gluten-free, they had also made a savory lentil loaf before we arrived, and we ended up crumbling some of that and putting on the pizza too!

I would have been fine with just the lentil loaf but the Sprouts had created the weekend's menu and were pretty determined that we must have pizza. No recipe here, but it is purty to look at...

The next day we spent reading, drinking iced tea, updating FaceBook (because that's always important, right?) being lazy (hey! it's vacation), driving around the beautiful countryside and orchards, wine-tasting, vineyard-visiting, hanging out at the river watching the fine-looking, suntanned, muscular...*ahem* I mean, ...watching the kite-boarders and flying the trainer kite (learning the "kite" part of kite-boarding). I also discovered the Full Sail Ale and Tofurky factories in town and decided NEXT time we're going to HAVE to tour them! (Ran out of time this weekend!).

Supper was a bucket-full of my Sprouts' favorite, most requested "mom-special", my Taco Salad (I'll post that recipe another day). Literally, we made it in an ice bucket, the house didn't come with a great selection of mixing bowls. Vegan, gluten free, everyone went back for seconds or thirds tonight.

Sunday morning, way too early, two of the Sprouts headed to the river with their Uncle (who's an amazing and award-winning kite-boarder himself) to learn the fine art of wrestling a huge kite while balanced on a surfboard while wrapped in a harness and a wetsuit while trying to stay upright, while trying to dodge other kiteboarders, windsurfers and the occasional barge in the river, all while trying not to eat a face-full of sand on one of the many sandbars in the river, all while maneuvering the wind gusts that the Columbia River Gorge is famous for... Easy.

We'd talked about a bike ride, a hike and helping sort the recycling, but again, we just ran OUT of time. But vacations aren't meant to be too busy, right? Hopefully our schedules will allow another visit!!

I'll leave you with the beautiful (and yummy!) vinaigrette potato salad my sister made for lunch; light and refreshing with crunchy celery and onions, sweet red peppers and a little bite of arugula - perfect after a hot, wind-and-sunburned day on the sand bar, or maybe a 4th of July BBQ.

(Yes, I was hot and sunburned because I was taking pictures, and working very hard on NOT wiping out headfirst in the rather "refreshing" waters of the Columbia River!) Anyway, I thought I'd share the recipe, this one's definitely a keeper - as is my sister ;-).

Summer Vinaigrette Potato Salad
With Arugula

3 pounds waxy-type yellow potatoes (Yellow Finns or whatever you have available)
2 ribs of celery, finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced sweet red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar for a milder taste)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon minced chives
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
a handful or two of fresh, small arugula leaves cut in a chiffonade. (For great instructions on how to chiffonade beautifully, I like THIS link:)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
couple pinches red pepper flakes

In a large pot, cook the whole potatoes in boiling, lightly salted water for about 20 minutes so, or until just barely fork tender (I like them more firm for this salad). When they are done, drain them and set aside to cool for 30 minutes or so, warmer potatoes will absorb the flavors and dressing better.

When potatoes have cooled enough to handle, slip peels off (it should be easy - or skip if you want) and cut them into bite-sized cubes, whatever size you prefer - I like the slightly larger chunks my sister used, they had a nice bite to them. After you cut them up, put them in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, and toss gently.

Taste and adjust if you want more vinegar, salt, pepper, whatever. Cover and chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to blend before serving.


Matt (My Veggie Kitchen) said...

There is a little vegan market in Hood River called Mother's Market that I've started to frequent when we head east. And I think they even have Daiya.

Jackie said...

Yum! I love your recipes.