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Friday, November 2, 2012

A Different Take on Potato Salad

Normally I hate mayonnaise-based recipes. You know, tuna salad, potato salad, macaroni salad. (That last one is the worst- it is almost always elbow macaroni and looks like worms swimming in cream. *shudder*) I don't like mayo on sandwiches- if it is there, it has to be so thinly spread I would miss it. 

Potatoes though, in other applications, are a different story. I love baked potatoes, au gratin, mashed potatoes, etc. So I want to like potato salad, the mayo just gets in the way. 

Well I had a nearly full bag of them and nothing planned for dinner. I checked the fridge and saw a creamy artichoke dip waiting to be loved, too. Light bulb moment!

Potato Salad with Artichoke Spinach Dip and Caramelized Onions

  • 8 potatoes (I used Russet, but I think any potato that holds up to boiling and won't fall apart easily would work. Red and blue potatoes would make good choices.)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (unsoaked) OR 2 avocados. (Avocados may give you a smoother texture, depending on your blender.)
  • 3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk 
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 medium-large cloves garlic
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry (ground) mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, partially thawed (helps for pulsing in blender)
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leaves

Clean and chop potatoes to bite size pieces. (I left skin on, but you can peel them if it bothers you.) Throw them all in a big pot and cover with water. Boil until fork tender. Drain and set aside. 
Roughly chop the onions. Heat a skillet over medium high heat with the oil and add the chopped onions. Stir to coat. Let them cook down and brown, but be careful not to burn or dry them out. Turn down the heat to medium if necessary. This may take a half hour to an hour, stirring occasionally. When they are brown, pull them off the burner. 
In a blender, first add cashews (or avocados), milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, dry mustard, and pepper.  Blend until very smooth. Add artichokes and spinach and just pulse to combine- keep some texture. Optional: Transfer to a baking dish and bake 15 minutes, just to warm through. Or use it cold. 
Transfer everything to a large bowl- the potatoes, onions and the dip. You may not want all the dip, depending on the ratio of potato to creaminess that you prefer. Toss everything to coat. Traditional potato salad is served cold. This is good warm or cold, in my opinion. We ate it alongside a green salad.