It’s officially summer here in Manchester and it’s time to crack out the delicious, wholesome salads! I’ve been craving some new combinations and must confess – I think this one is a winner.
Potatoes are one of my favorite stapes – I cannot believe this is the first time I’ve marinated them in delicious home-made pesto. Prepare to fall in love.
I served this salad with friends on a hot summers day with some fresh bread, extra pesto for dipping, sliced tomatoes and open windows. Can you say perfection?
Right off the bat – you do not have to make your own pesto for this recipe. For me: pesto is like pastry – amazing if you make from scratch, but there are so many great shop-options now, you can utlize those brilliant brands. There are so many amazing stores here in Manchester that sell Vegan Pesto!
Ingredients: (Makes a large salad, with leftover Pesto)
(For the Pesto):
50g Fresh Basil Leaves
3 cloves Garlic
50mls Olive Oil
50mls Sunflower Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
(For the Salad):
500g baby potatoes, washed and unpeeled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups raw spinach, washed
1/2 cup more basil
5 stalks Asparagus, chopped into large chunks.
Place a large saucepan of water on to boil. Once boiling, add your baby potatoes and cook until soft (approximately 20 minutes). Be careful not to overcook them as they will break apart while you are marinating them and assembling your salad.
In a low-heat oven, lightly roast your almonds for about ten minutes to add extra flavor.
In a good-quality blender – combine your Basil, almonds, garlic, oils, lemon juice, salt and pepper until you form a lovely pesto. Add more salt and pepper as you go to suit your taste.
Once the potatoes are cooked – transfer to a large bowl and add about three large tablespoons of pesto. Move around and marinate with your fingers so all the potatoes gather some flavor.
In some fresh boiling water – add your chopped asparagus and blanch for two minutes maximum.
In a large serving bowl – place the bulk of your spinach and potatoes. Finish off with your asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Finally add a drizzle of pesto.
With the same ingredients (but without chopping your asparagus) here is a lovely alternative serving option! This would make the perfect starter for your next vegan dinner party.
All photos courtesy of Lucas Smith Photography.