Winter is hard.
I love the snow, the quiet falling of flakes; how silent it is. But the days where it’s not snowing and it’s simply cold and dark and dreary, those days are draining.
Winter has never been my favorite season, and I think it’s those short, frigid days that do me in every year.
When I wake up, it’s dark and cold. When we leave work, it’s dark and cold. I don’t see much sunlight outside of the office walls, and it’s even worse when most days are overcast and grey, regardless. No sun to speak of.
There is nothing I would like more than to curl up on my couch with a blanket, a few books, and something hot to drink and to stay there until the trees are beginning to bud and the sun sets later than 7 pm again. To hibernate, which is what I think we’re supposed to do in the winter. We can’t plant things, we can’t harvest. It’s too bad work places don’t have a hibernation vacation built in for the darkest, coldest days of winter.
To fool myself into being productive and keep myself from sleeping the winter away, I have to find colorful things in the winter to break up the grays and whites of everything around us. Bright scarves, clothes, nail polish. New books, music. Colorful foods – a reminder of what’s coming when spring hits and the asparagus and strawberries are back.
My history with potato salad doesn’t go back very far. I was not a fan of potato salads when I was growing up; there’s a picture of me eating my Nany’s potato salad and making the most disgusting face – not a good sign. For years, I wouldn’t even try potato salad, no matter where we were or who made it. I just didn’t think I liked any of them.
But when I married into Nick’s family, I heard about Nick’s dad’s legendary potato salad, whose recipe came from his father, and I knew I had to at least try it. It won me over, and potato salads – with or without mayo – are one of my favorite side dishes now.
This take on potato salad is definitely lighter than your normal mayo-laden dish and would be perfect for any time of year. I wanted something with some color to brighten our plates, and since roasted potatoes are one of my favorite foods, I used those as the base instead of the normal boiled method.
Southwest Roasted Potato Salad
Makes: 6 servings
- 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
- 1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
- 1 cup corn
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the chopped potato with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and lay out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the potatoes roast, heat a skillet over medium heat with the 1 tsp olive oil. Cook the poblano pepper and the scallions together, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the pepper has softened.
- Once the potatoes are cooked and have cooled for 5-10 minutes, scoop the potatoes into a large bowl.
- Toss the cooked pepper and scallions into the potatoes and add the Rotel, corn, and pinto beans. Stir everything together with the lime juice and serve warm or room temperature.