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Maine Coast Arugula Pesto Potato Salad

Homestead Harvest

Maine Coast Arugula Pesto Potato Salad

The sprawling coastline of Maine, with its rugged shores and salty breeze, carries stories of generations, of seafarers, and of a land where the sea meets the abundant farmlands. Today, let us embark on a culinary voyage that celebrates the rich tapestry of Maine: the Coast Arugula Pesto Potato Salad.

When thinking of Maine, the imagery that dominates one’s mind is its majestic coastline. But intertwined with this maritime identity is its bountiful produce. The state’s varied topography, from its craggy coastlines to rolling farmlands, gives rise to diverse crops. And this potato salad, with its coastal arugula pesto, seeks to capture this confluence.

Potatoes, a staple in many Maine households, are not just about sustenance; they’re about heritage. With counties like Aroostook turning vast stretches into potato farms, this humble tuber is deeply rooted in Maine’s agricultural history. Roasting these potatoes to a golden hue not only enriches their flavor but echoes the golden sunsets that Maine’s coast is often bathed in.

Now, arugula may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Maine, but it’s a green that’s found its way into many Maine gardens. Its peppery bite is reminiscent of the sharp, invigorating winds that course through the state, especially as one treads closer to the sea. And when this arugula is turned into a pesto, blended with aromatic basil and chives, it captures the essence of a Maine summer – vibrant, fresh, and teeming with life.

What’s more? The inclusion of toasted pine nuts, the tangy pecorino romano, and the zesty lemon evoke the myriad flavors one encounters in a coastal Maine market. Fresh produce, seafood, cheeses, and an array of local delicacies all jostling for attention.

The red spring onions and radishes, thinly sliced and delicately laid, bring forth the colors of a Maine sunrise. The hues of pinks, purples, and the deep greens echo the mosaic of a morning sky as the sun begins its ascent over the Atlantic.

However, the real magic of this dish lies in its amalgamation. When the crispy roasted potatoes meet the spicy tang of the arugula pesto, it creates a symphony of flavors, much like the harmonious coexistence of Maine’s coastal and farming communities. It’s a dish that brings people together, much like the community gatherings in Maine’s town squares, beaches, and barns.

To partake in this salad is to embark on a journey through Maine’s bylanes. It’s to feel the crisp morning air of its farmlands and to hear the distant call of the gulls by the shore. It’s to be wrapped in the warm embrace of a community that values its roots, its produce, and its shared stories.

Maine Coast Arugula Pesto Potato Salad

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs small potatoes halved
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 red spring onions thinly sliced
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 6 radishes thinly shaved on a mandolin

Arugula Pesto

  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 small handful of chives
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • cup toasted pine nuts
  • cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Warm up your oven to 425°F. Place halved potatoes on a sheet pan, giving them a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, ensuring they’re well-coated. Roast these gems for 15 minutes until they take on a crispy, golden hue. Introduce the sliced spring onions to the party, letting everything roast for another 25 minutes. Await a tantalizing aroma signaling tender, golden potatoes.
  • As the potatoes are baking, channel the essence of Maine’s coast into a pesto. In your trusty food processor, unite arugula, basil, chives, garlic, pine nuts, pecorino romano, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey. Blend until you’ve got a finely chopped mixture. Transfer this aromatic blend into a bowl, adding olive oil and adjusting seasoning as needed.
  • The grand assembly beckons. In a spacious salad bowl, mingle fresh arugula, radishes, and the green stems from the spring onions. Introduce the roasted potatoes and onions, lavishing them with your freshly made pesto. Any extra pesto can be set aside for another culinary adventure.
  • Serve this potato salad masterpiece at a comfortable room temperature, perhaps under the canopy of a pine tree. A final dusting of black pepper elevates flavors, making every bite a celebration of Maine’s beauty.

As the seasons change and Maine’s landscape transforms, it’s dishes like the Coast Arugula Pesto Potato Salad that remain timeless, reminding us of the beauty of simple ingredients, of shared meals, and of the stories that food can tell. In the heart of every Mainean, and indeed anyone who’s had the privilege to experience its shores and fields, lies a story waiting to be told. And today, through this salad, we’ve shared but a page of that tale.

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