Now that memorial day has passed, most people would agree that grilling season has officially begun. We used our outdoor grill for the second time ever yesterday, which was pretty amazing and pathetic at the same time. I do plan to use it more, I promise. But the best part about a barbeque in my opinion is always the side dishes. Especially the salads. I realize that sounds boring, but hear me out.
My favorite salad component is anything but boring. It’s arugula, also known by its street name, rocket. It’s peppery and filled with an intense flavor that you would never expect from its unassuming exterior. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, and iron. It’s great both raw and cooked, but personally I prefer the former. This can spice up any salad, quite literally.
And when you think of barbeques and salads, what often comes to mind? Potato salad, of course.
Who needs a potato salad drenched in mayo? Not I. In fact the reason potatoes have an unmerited bad reputation health-wise is because most people serve them drenched in sour cream, butter, or mayo. Or worse yet, they deep fry them. Without such Paula Deen-esque abuse, potatoes are actually incredibly good for you. They’re high in vitamin C and B6, they’re linked with brain and cardiovascular health, and are said to lower blood pressure. So put them in a French or German style potato salad, where they have a lovely mustardy vinaigrette.
Such loving treatment of potatoes deserves the addition of our buddy arugula. The result is a tangy, spicy potato salad that will make a great side dish for your next barbeque. Or you can just eat it as your meal and call it a day. A happy, happy day.
Arugula Potato Salad (serves 4 as a side)
- 1.25 lbs. baby or fingerling potatoes
- 2 tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups (loosely packed) arugula, tough stems removed
1. Cut the potatoes to equal sizes, about 1/2 inch in length – if they are very small, leave them whole. Place in a heavy pot and fill with cold water up to about 1 inch above the tops of the potatoes. Salt liberally and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing in a large salad bowl. Whisk together the mustard, honey or maple syrup, and cider vinegar. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Finally, stir in salt and pepper to taste, and the parsley.
3. Once the potatoes are drained, but while they are still hot, add them to the dressing. Toss together to coat, and cover the bowl with foil. They will soak up that dressing like nobody’s business. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least one hour.
4. When you are ready to serve, add the arugula to the potatoes and toss everything together well. Serve immediately.