Arugula can be bitter, but when it’s blended into a pesto and tossed with potatoes, the flavors meld into a tangy bite of delight that goes well with a grilled steak or hamburger. There’s no mayonnaise or egg in this potato salad so it can sit out for a few hours, which makes it perfect for a picnic, barbecue or buffet. It’s not barbecue weather yet in Alaska, in fact, it snowed 10 inches last night and it’s still falling. But I’m dreaming of spring and cheering myself up by finding new recipes for that first cook-out. This quick and easy potato salad wins a place on the menu and is sure to become a favorite.
Buy younger, smaller potatoes if you can, so that you can leave the peels on, which saves a few minutes of prep time. Yukon Golds and yellow-skinned potatoes are good choices. Small red potatoes also work well, but I’ve heard that some people don’t tolerate them as well as other potatoes, so go with what works for you.
Arugula Pesto Potato Salad
Serves 5 to 6, adapted from Gourmet
2 pounds (900 grams) Yukon Gold or yellow-skinned potatoes
1 cup (240 ml) packed arugula, also known as rocket (2 ounces/56 grams)
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan (1 ounce/28 grams)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) garlic infused olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) pine nuts
1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter, softened
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch (19 mm) chunks, then boil them for 10 to 12 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain, then transfer them to a bowl. Put the arugula, Parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts and butter in a blender or food processor and purée. As soon as the potatoes are room temperature, toss them with the pesto, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.