Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Creamy Pesto Potato Salad

Potato salad made from small red potatoes, and a basil pesto with parsley, dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes and dressed with mayonnaise and Parmesan.

Creamy Pesto Potato Salad

If you're not into green food, you might want to click away. I totally get it - sometimes green in a food is a bit off-putting to me too, especially when nature didn't intend it to be green - like all those dyed foods on Saint Patrick's Day.

And then there's The Cajun's aversion to anything slightly resembling a vegetable, so I pretty much would have to say that an herb centered ingredient like basil potato salad, would literally send him running.

Basil is prolific in the garden right now though and anybody that ever plants it, usually has an overabundance of it.
What does one do but make pesto?! 
That's pretty straight forward - basil, or even a mixture of herbs, pine nuts (or pecans or walnuts if you prefer), lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, Parmesan, olive oil, and for this one, a bit of dried red pepper flakes.

And, by the way, if you happen to have some pesto leftover, you can freeze it in ice cube trays, or in muffin cups for larger servings, or both.

Spray the tray with a bit of olive oil non-stick spray and spoon in the pesto.  Freeze until solid, pop out and put into a zipper freezer bag.

Pesto can be used in many different dishes to add just a bit of flavor. Use it in eggs and omelets, add to soup, in salads and salad dressings, toss in pasta, rice or on veggies, use on toasted baguettes or mix it with mayonnaise as a sandwich or burger spread, use it in place of pizza sauce, mix some into softened butter to use as a spread, top hummus with some or blend it in with sour cream or cream cheese dips for snacking, or use as a sauce enhancement for meats, fish and poultry. Whew!!

It's really more versatile than you think!

I had never combined pesto with a full recipe potato salad to be honest, mostly because it means I would be the sole person eating it, but I thought I'd give it a try. I'm trying to break out of the traditional southern style box and try a few new types of potato salads anyway.

After folding the pesto into the potato salad, while I liked it, I found that I really missed the creaminess of a potato salad. I tried a bit of Greek yogurt and then sour cream but wasn't crazy about the tang that added especially against the strength of the extra virgin olive oil.

Then I tried just good ole light mayonnaise and really loved it {I know, surprise, surprise} and so my creamy version of pesto potato salad was born.

I didn't have any sun-dried tomatoes in the pantry when I decided to pick the basil, but I am certain that they would be an excellent addition, so I've included them as an option.

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Posted by on June 1, 2012
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