This post hearkens back to that special time in the late summer when the farmer’s markets are resplendent with just about everything you could want. Peaches haven’t yet gone out of season, potatoes and peppers are just starting to come in and leafy greens are available in abundance. What better time to make the Purple Potato and Kale Salad with Cilantro-Tahini Dressing from the Forks Over Knives cookbook?
Of course, it’s supposed to be made with potatoes that are purple all the way through, the lack of which was my mistake. I saw the gorgeous purple skins and when the guy at the farmstand told me they weren’t purple inside, I didn’t realize they wouldn’t be purple at all. However, they had a lovely firmness and a smooth texture, so the fact that they were yellow inside instead didn’t have an impact aside from aesthetics. There were so many kinds of potatoes at the farmer’s market that day, I think I could have chosen any of them and they would have been delicious.
Kale is one of my favorite things to get at the farmer’s market, and I’ve discovered that you can’t get it better anywhere else. I was sad when the vendors at this past week’s market told me the recent cold snap meant there wouldn’t be any more kale for a while. I suppose I’m lucky that was able to get farm-fresh kale into December. The thing I love so much about it is the flavor. Even when it’s bigger or tougher, it’s never as good from the store as it is from the market. Not even from the co-op. So when I can, I grab my favorite leafy green from a local grower. This past season I enjoyed curly kale, red Russian kale and a huge bunch of purple kale which, come to think of it, would have been awesome in this salad.
It’s a pretty straightforward recipe that goes well as part of a standard greens-grain-protein meal. Here you can see that I paired it with some baked tofu a la the Appetite For Reduction recipe and miniature maple buns from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet. All you need for potato-kale deliciousness aside from the obvious are some tomatoes (preferably farm-fresh as well!), tahini, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and a little cayenne pepper. A minute or two with a blender and ta-da! You have a salad that’s as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.
I’m a rather big fan of the creaminess of nut- and seed-butter-based dressings, to this recipe was right up my alley. If you can, I would recommend waiting to try this one until all of the ingredients can be found from local sources. But if you need a taste of summer, give this one a try. It would be great with baked or marinated tempeh and some quinoa, or even a warm bean and grain salad. Because who says you can’t make a meal out of salads?
What are you favorite things to bring home from the farmer’s market?