I love Tucson the most during the spring. Not because of my itchy nose and watery eyes, but because of the bright blooming Palo Verde trees, warm spring evenings, and the abundance of colorful produce. The variety of produce that is grown in Arizona always amazes me, and this week’s CSA harvest is no exception. From artichokes to kale and Valencia oranges, Tucson CSA offers their members an array of fruits and vegetables that provide a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and flavors.
This week, I utilized the new potatoes from the weekly harvest to create a new spin on an old classic: potato salad. While there are many versions of this summer staple, most lack greenery and include copious amounts of heavy mayonnaise. In an effort to create a lighter and more colorful potato salad, I combined roasted potatoes and blanched asparagus and tossed them with a tangy champagne vinaigrette. Although potatoes are often renounced because of their high carbohydrate content, they contain important nutrients including vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. If you prepare potatoes in a healthy way, they can truly be a great addition to a balanced diet. My New Potato and Asparagus Salad differs from traditional potato salads in a few ways. Rather than boiling the new potatoes, they are slow roasted in olive oil and sea salt until they are tender and slightly crispy on the outside. Roasting the potatoes benefits both the texture and flavor of the salad. As you may have guessed from the title of the recipe, there is also asparagus in this potato salad! To preserve as much of its bright flavor as possible, the asparagus is blanched (boiled for a short period of time) before it is added to the salad. Lastly, the salad is tossed in a simple homemade champagne vinaigrette and topped with fresh parsley and chives. Although it is technically a potato salad, this New Potato and Asparagus Salad is undoubtedly different than the potato salads you’ve likely eaten at so many barbeques before. With its bright colors, vibrant flavors, and healthy ingredients, you can feel great about serving this salad as a side dish with any of your spring and summertime meals.
Shelby Thompson is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona. When she isn’t working her day job, Shelby can be found practicing in the yoga studio, playing ball with her black lab Cola, and cooking in the kitchen. Her blog, thesunandthespoon.com, aims to provide nutritious, plant-based recipes for fellow food lovers. She greatly enjoys the wide array of local food and talent in Tucson.