Summer reading is pure pleasure. It spans the interlude between opening the novel and closing in on the nap.
This summer, I’ve got a tall stack and high hopes. As well as backlog, which is why I skipped straight to “The Martian” on screen. Usually I’m the book-first sort, but our new TV is so high-definition, the experience was less like watching a movie and more like getting stranded on Mars.
Turns out it’s not a great vacation. You have to spend your time doing astrophysics, alone, and the food is a pale tan loaf. That, and potatoes. Even on Mars, even in the future, potatoes save the day.
Good to know – though not surprising. Potatoes are keen on digging in, settling down and making the most of summer.
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Everyone has a favorite potato salad. Here’s mine.
3 pounds pingpong-ball-size red potatoes, skins on (see note)
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup snipped dill fronds
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Boil: Settle potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold, salted water by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, turn down to a low boil, and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a skewer, about 10 minutes. Drain.
2. Cut: When potatoes are cool enough to handle (but still warm), halve them. Pile into a large bowl. Sprinkle in peas (no need to defrost) and red onion.
3. Mix: Whisk together mayo, sour cream, dill, mustard, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour this dressing over potatoes. Mix gently with a soft spatula.
4. Serve: I like this potato salad still warm, but it’s good at any temperature.
Note: To substitute baseball-size red-skin potatoes, increase cooking time to about 24 minutes. Cut cooked potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
Makes: 8 servings