Let’s take a moment to recognize Grandma’s potato salad she faithfully brings to every summer cookout. Creamy and delicious, this ‘salad’ packs on the nostalgia just as quickly as it packs on the pounds. I mean the two main ingredients are white potatoes and mayonnaise, you couldn’t have really thought it was waist slimming, could you?
Well don’t tell grammy, but I truthfully never liked the mayonnaise based potato or pasta salads. They way they sat in the sun turning into some science experiment goop? And where was the flavor? the crunch? the feel good ingredients?!
So, without stepping on any toes.. I’ve made a potato salad improvement. It is mayonnaise free and packed with flavorful superfoods to keep your ‘dodging the cookout diet crisis’ at bay. Although I haven’t found a replacement for any of grandma’s desserts… and don’t really plan to anytime soon 😉 (Read here for diet tips on how to stay on track during cookout season).
I bring to you: Healthy and Organic Greek Pesto Potato Salad
-3 packages of Melissa’s Peeled and Steamed Baby Potatoes
-1/4 cup pitted mediterranean olives, halved
-1/4 cup cup almonds, halved
-1/3 cup Organic Valley Feta Cheese (omit if making vegan!)
-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 large red onion, chopped
-Drizzle of olive oil
-1/2 lemon juice
-1 cup fresh basil leaves
-1/3 cup pine nuts and/or walnuts – toasted (I use a combination of both)
-1/4 white onion
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/3 cup pecorino cheese (optional if making vegan)
-1 garlic clove
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts and garlic on 1/2 side of an un greased cookie sheet. Place the halved tomatoes on the other 1/2, seeds facing up. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. Remove pan and transfer nuts and garlic to a food processor. Add the onion, garlic, cheese, olive oil and sea salt. Puree for 30 seconds, stopping to scrape sides twice. Keep adding up to 1/4 cup of olive oil to get desired consistency.
3. Empty bags of Melissa’s potatoes into a mixing bowl. Halve any potatoes that seem too large. Mix 1/2 cup of the pesto mixture with the potatoes. Add lemon juice, olives, tomatoes, red onion, almonds and half of the feta and toss lightly.
4. Transfer potato salad to serving dish and top with remaining feta. If you have any remaining basil, break into small pieces and sprinkle on top. Wah-lah!