May 21, 2012

Avocado Potato Salad for a Virtual Potluck


Today is an official holiday here in Canada for Victoria Day, and it's also the unofficial start to the summer!  With summer comes the start of patio season, BBQ season, and enjoying meals outdoors in the company of friends and family.

So today seems like the perfect day to have a potluck with some of the wonderful people I've met through blogging!  Since we can't all be together in person, Courtney of The Fig Tree blog came up with the idea of having a virtual potluck - that way we can share all of our dishes with each other and with our readers!

The rules were pretty simple - we each had to come up with at least one vegan or vegetarian dish that we would "bring" to the potluck, focusing on a spring/summer theme. Each of us will post our recipe on our blogs today, and link up to the other participating blogs.

For my dish, I decided to bring a traditional potluck item - potato salad, but with an updated and more interesting twist!


If you've ever been to a potluck, chances are that somebody brought a potato salad.  While there are some good potato salads out there, the majority are not vegetarian or vegan-friendly, since they often contain bacon or sausage and are covered in a heavy mayonnaise or sour cream dressing. In my opinion, the worst offenders are those containers of gloop from the grocery store deli section - I'm sure there are some people who love those potato salads and I've eaten them in the past too, but to me it's not a real potato salad if you can't even distinguish the pieces of actual potato in it!

For my potato salad, I used mini red potatoes that I boiled and diced into bite-sized pieces.  I tossed the potatoes with bright red cherry tomatoes and garlic, and lots of fresh lemon juice and dill to brighten it up.  Finally, I mashed a ripe avocado and mixed that into the salad so that everything became coated in a thick  layer of avocado dressing.

I loved how creamy and filling the potato salad was with the mashed avocado, and the flavours all went so well together!  This would be a great dish to make in the summer for those backyard BBQs or potlucks, and I'm sure your guests would be excited to try a new take on the old potato salad!



Avocado Potato Salad
Inspired by this recipe from Gourmet

12 oz mini red potatoes
1.5-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
About 10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 ripe avocado
Salt and pepper

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover  with water. Bring to a boil and add a dash of salt to the water, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat and drain.

Once they are cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into quarters and place in a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, and garlic.  Add cherry tomatoes to the bowl and stir to combine.  Mash the avocado with a fork (I like to leave it a bit chunky) and add it to the bowl.  Stir until the potatoes are evenly coated with the avocado.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 2-4 servings (2 as a main dish or 4 as a side). *Note: I only made a smaller salad, so if you wanted to make this for a larger crowd, you should double or triple the recipe


Now that you've seen my dish, it's time to check out what everyone else brought to our virtual potluck - just click on the picture to see each post with the recipes!

We ended up with a pretty good mix of appetizers, side dishes, main course and dessert...and this wasn't planned, but there also seemed to be a bit of an avocado theme going on!

Starting with snacks and appetizers, we have this unique Broccoflower Guacamole from Elaina of the blog Flavour - if you've ever wondered what to do with a broccoflower, try this recipe!



Two people brought beautiful fresh salads with a mix of fruit, veggies and avocado - first up is this Super Green Salad with Strawberries from Caitlin of The Vegan Chickpea with lots of good-for-you green ingredients!



And second is this gorgeous Mango Avocado Salad with Pineapple Mint Dressing from our lovely host Courtney of The Fig Tree blog - I love all the tropical ingredients in this salad!



For our main course, Helena of Peaches and Cream brought this Big Bertha Burger - a hearty veggie burger made with oats, herbs and spices


Richa of the blog Hobby and More brought another main course dish full of Indian flavors - these Chard Cauliflower Carrot Wraps with Mint Thyme Tomato Chutney. I would love to eat these wraps for lunch any day, and the mint chutney would have so many other uses too!


And lucky us - we got a third main course from Cara of Fork and Beans, who made Stuffed Peppers (I say lucky because in normal circumstances, there might be none or just one vegetarian main course option at potlucks, so to have three means we would be very well fed!)


Next, Destini of The Healthy Wife made another quinoa dish - this Lime Cilantro Black Bean Quinoa Salad - I think it sounds so flavourful and it would be a filling side dish for vegetarians with the beans and quinoa!



And of course, what's a potluck without dessert?  The dessert options at our virtual potluck sound pretty amazing and feature lots of seasonal  fruit...plus they're on the healthy side so you don't have to feel guilty about ending your meal with one of these options!

First up for dessert are these Strawberry Rhubarb Coconut Crumb Bars from Heather of Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes - I was immediately hooked after reading the title because I love the combination of strawberries and rhubarb, and adding coconut sounds even better!


Next, Willow of Will Cook for Friends brought these beautiful Peaches and Cream Granola Parfaits - homemade granola layered with a peach and yogurt puree, topped with peach slices...I would be happy to eat this for breakfast or dessert!


Finally, Natasha of the blog VIMWAC (A Vegetarian in Manitoba Without a Clue) brought these Chocolate and Banana Rolled Oat Bites - I love easy no-bake desserts like this, and I'm sure they would disappear quickly at a potluck!



Everything looks so good that I wish this was a real-life event so I could try it all!  Thanks for joining our virtual potluck and hope everyone has a great week!



30 comments:

  1. this looks great, girl! i love that the avocado replaces the mayo. i'm definitely making this for dayv. he'll love it!

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    1. Thanks Caitlin - I definitely prefer the avocado over mayo any day! And it even saved well for the next day too!

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  2. I LOVE using avocado in pasta salads but have never tried it in Potato Salad - all of these yummy looking recipes are totally making me wish we were able to have a real potluck together, we would be so well fed!

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    1. No kidding - I've never been to a potluck where I've actually wanted to eat every single dish! I love using avocado as a pasta sauce too - it has so many yummy uses :)

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  3. I have never been a fan of (normal) potato salads, but that's probably because the majority of the ones I've eaten have come straight from the deli section of the grocery store. This sounds so fresh and light, I seriously wish I could just take a big helping right out of that bowl! I'll definitely have to try making this sometime. :)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about the deli potato salads! I hope you get a chance to try this recipe, if you like avocado then I'm sure you'd love this!

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  4. Absolutely love your twist on potato salad! Brilliant way to liven up the traditional potato salad. I'm so glad we're able to meet through Courtney's virtual potluck! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I agree - this is a great way for us to get to know other bloggers, and for readers to find new blogs they might like too!

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  5. Thank you so very much for participating in the potluck today :) Means a lot! So glad it all worked out. Well, except for the fact that I've been looking at the most delicious looking food all day and I'M SO HUNGRY now! *Hah* Your potato salad looks incredible. Such a brilliant way to do without the often heavy mayo in potato salads. Cannot wait to try this recipe! :)

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    1. So glad you like my dish! And I know what you mean...I just kept thinking, why can't all the potlucks I go to in real life have so many amazing options? Thanks again for inviting me :)

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  6. MMMMmm some of my favourite veggies! What a great idea with the avocados and potatoes.

    Gerat to have 'met' you :) This was so much fun

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  7. you know.. most of my real potlucks usually have an indian theme, so i actually miss out on good potato salads:) this one is just perfect!

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    1. Ooh I would love to go to an Indian themed potluck - the part I like about potlucks is trying foods from others that you wouldn't normally try or make yourself!

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  8. Hi Genevieve!
    I noticed you are a twin...so am I! Sorry-I like coincidences:D The potato salad looks great-I would have never thought to add avocado! Thank you for sharing, I can't wait for trying it out! XoXO!
    Helena

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    1. Oh, I didn't realize you were a twin too - Seems our potluck group has more than just similar tastes in food in common! Thanks for the sweet comment, I'm glad we could all participate :)

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  9. Yum! I do not like mayo, so this is such a great idea! I could live on avocados, will have to try this over the summer!

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    1. Thanks! Avocados seem to taste good on any carb - pasta, bread, and even potatoes!

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  10. How did I miss this potluck?! This is what happens when I have a busy few days and get behind on my blog reading. :( I hate regular potato salads with all the mayo (yuck!)--your version is so much healthier!

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    1. Thanks - it seems a lot of people would appreciate a mayo-free potato salad recipe! The virtual potluck was fun - if we do another one, you should definitely join in...I'll be sure to let you know :)

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  11. The potato salad looks amazing but so does everything else, I wish I could eat it all!

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    1. Thanks, I agree! At least the good part about a virtual potluck is that we get to have all the recipes so we actually can try everything ourselves!

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  12. looks so yummy! i have been wanting to try a recipe like this ever since i saw this one on the ppk: http://www.theppk.com/2011/05/creamy-avocado-potato-salad/

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    1. Thanks! I actually came across that recipe after I posted mine, it sounds good too - like guacamole with potatoes!

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  13. Thanks for the post Genvieve. Great vegan way to 'cream' the potato salad by using avocado. I'll have to give it a try. What a lovely virtual potluck!

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    1. Thanks Anna, I hope you get a chance to try the recipe! This was my first virtual potluck and it was a lot of fun!

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  14. This looks SO delicious. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering. Potato salad is one of those things I've never thought was done right - but this looks perfect. PERFECT!

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    1. Thanks so much (what an awesome thing to hear!). I definitely agree - potato salad can be go wrong in lots of ways, so I was glad to find one that I really liked!

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  15. Nice use of avocado. It would be super if you linked this post in to Food on Friday Series which is all about avocado this week.

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