Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

The Salad That Got Away From Me

Posted June 12, 2011

My Mostly Not Potato Salad
Inspired by Heidi Swanson
Serves 4-6

You can use regular quinoa instead of the black called for here, but it won’t look as striking.  Tossing the warm vegetables with a bit of the salad dressing first will allow them to absorb more of the dressing.

For the dressing
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad
2 large red potatoes
1 large leek, cut in half and thinly sliced
½ bunch of very thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ English cucumber, seeded, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
5 large lettuce leaves, washed and torn into bite size pieces
½ cup cooked black quinoa
1 large avocado, cut into small pieces

Make the dressing
Place the shallot, mustard, vinegar, a large pinch of kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a wide mouth jar.  Cover and give a vigorous shake.  Uncover and add the olive oil and cover and shake again.  Adjust the dressing to your taste with more oil, salt or pepper.

Make the salad
Place the potatoes in a small pot and cover them with cold water.  Salt the water and bring to a rapid boil, then lower the heat to a gentle boil.  Cook until a knife can be inserted easily into the center of each potato, about 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then add in the leeks.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften but do not allow them to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the asparagus and sauté for another minute.  Scrape the vegetables into a large salad bowl.

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl.  Toss the warm vegetables with just a bit of the dressing, then layer on the cucumber, herbs, tofu, lettuce, quinoa, and avocado.  Drizzle on more dressing and toss carefully.

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