Heirloom Pesto Potato Salad

This weekend, I bought a wonderful basil pesto and was inspired to pair it with potatoes in a sort of potato salad.  I had seen in a magazine a recipe for putting homemade parsley pesto on roasted sweet potatoes, so putting basil pesto on heirloom baby potatoes made perfect sense.

The potatoes are an heirloom variety, meaning they are from an older, less genetically-modified plant.  Varieties of vegetables have been bred and altered over the years to select for shape, look, size, firmness, etc.  What often happens, however, is that flavor and nutritional value are sacrificed to make vegetables and produce which travel better (meaning ones that ripen later or ripen when introduced to certain chemicals, that damage less easily, and that are less sensitive to temperature, etc.) and don’t go bad as quickly.

I apologize for the slightly pessimistic produce lesson, but I wanted to explain why I think buying heirloom produce whenever I can is so important.  Another amazing thing about the potatoes I used is that they come in multiple varieties and colors.  It’s difficult to see clearly through the gorgeous, green pesto, but there are yellow and cream and pink and bright purple potatoes.  The colors make it so fun, and they add more variety to the taste and texture of the overall salad.

I started this tasty side dish by cleaning, cutting, and roasting the potatoes.  I coated all the piece in olive oil and salt, threw them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven, and roasted them for about 15 minutes.  Please don’t stick closely to the numbers I provide- I would suggest taking the pan out of the even ever 5 or so minutes to flip the potatoes and to test for that nice crispy, golden surface.  You can even taste a few to check when they’re soft and cooked enough.

Then, I took the potatoes off the pan, dumped them into a big, glass bowl, let them cool a bit, and stirred in about a 1/4 cup of pesto.  The amount of topping totally depends on your taste and how much potato you have.  There are so many other ways to make potato salad as well.  I personally like eating roasted potatoes plain or with olive oil, salt, and pepper or with a bit of my homemade mayonnaise to make a slightly creamy sauce.  Feel free to experiment with flavors and other ingredients like raw or sauteed red onion or blanched green beans.  Enjoy!

One Response to “Heirloom Pesto Potato Salad”
  1. Mom says:

    Yum. I love the purple ones. Roasted with pesto is a great idea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: