Monday, 15 April 2013 | 20 comments

Warm potato salad with spring greens

spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window,into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

-E.E. Cummings

(First Steinbeck, now E.E. Cummings. Sorry. Try as I might, my favorite literary genre seems destined to remain Dead White Guy.)
So: we find ourselves in the thick of it. April showers, birds and the bees, all that jazz. The forsythia is practically glowing, all my greens are in the ground, peas and favas and radishes are out too, and—the current highlight of my existence—there is a hen sitting on a clutch of eleven eggs. Today marks Day 10 for her—only about that many more days, cross your fingers, and we should have some fluffy little baby chickies running around here. I’ve been thinking about seasonality lately, how you can’t go anywhere without mention of “seasonal” or “in-season” nowadays, feeling a little cynical about how it’s all a marketing ploy.

Then, this morning, lying awake before the alarm went off, the air changed. A stiff breeze kicked up, the skies opened, a single crash of lightning lit the pre-morning. All before the sun rose. I take it all back: shedding winter for this time of year is still one of the most exciting things I know.

Warm potato salad with spring greens

You’ll need

  1. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  2. 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed with the flat of a knife
  3. The white parts of two scallions, chopped
  4. A squeeze of lemon juice
  5. A generous punch of salt
  6. 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
  7. 1-2 pounds baby or new potatoes, or regular potatoes chopped into 1-inch pieces
  8. 3-4 cups greens, such as watercress, dandelion greens, arugula, baby kale, or pea shoots, rinsed
  9. Shaved parmesan
  10. Freshly ground black peper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process buttermilk, garlic, scallions, lemon juice, salt, and parsley until smooth. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Set aside.

    When boiling, add the potatoes to the water. Cook for about ten minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

    Toss the warm potatoes with the greens and dressing. Top with shaved parmesan and black pepper. Serve immediately.

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§ 20 responses to Warm potato salad with spring greens

  • Oh yes, you capture that excitement so well. Sometimes I find that in the middle of office/city existence, it’s easy to loose touch with the seasons but every now and then there is that little blast of Spring that is enough to excite.

  • I’m still waiting–rather impatiently–for the favas and peas to show themselves. So far, all I’ve got is garlic, a little traumatized by the fluctuating weather. The salad sounds lovely–buttermilk dressing!

    Happy spring.

  • I was at a conference in Denver a week and a half ago, and at one of the meals they had a platter marked “seasonal fruit” and it was full of strawberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Ugh. I guess they meant seasonal in Mexico?? Anyhow, real seasonality truly is thrilling. We’re craving spring up here and still getting pelted with snowstorms. A warm potato salad would be just the way to make root vegetables feel a little less wintery, though.

  • The buttermilk dressing sounds so good I could eat it all by itself! You’ve inspired me to get moving and start planting my herb garden :)

  • Delicious and beautiful. The season brings forth such wonderful new life!

  • Everything is looking good so far this season!

  • Patricia

    Spring came barreling into Metro-Atlanta last week with a pollen count of 8,000+. A normal high is 150.

    Your snapshots of the early spring arrivals in your garden bring back fond memories of my gardening days. There’s nothing like the taste of produce picked all of 10 minutes ago. What could taste better than a few boiled baby potatoes nestled into a bed of tasty greens.. Yummy.

  • Elle

    Try W.S. Merwin – he’s still alive and writes a lot about Nature!

  • Maggie


  • Yes, I agree that the over-use of marketing buzz words make you really pull back. But the basic concepts are still so wonderful when genuinely applied. We went to an olive oil tasting and they were saying that a lot of supermarket brands of olive oil don’t contain what they say they do but rather just put the buzz words on the packaging. Sounds very wrong. Either way, the real thing – the seasonal fruits and vegies are really exciting and inspiring. I’m on a herbs and vegies fix at the moment.

  • Zoe

    Absolutely get excited about the seasons! Just looking at your new little shoots is exciting – especially from someone heading into winter! So glad to see you’re enjoying it. (Plus apparently there is this whole connection thing with seasonal food and immunity etc. Really cool stuff)

  • meliSsa

    Still waiting for the forsythia to bloom here in Vermont, but seeing yours lets me know it will be any day now! The potato salad sounds lovely. I am going to tweat it a bit using some garlic scape pesto I have in the freezer as the base for the buttermilk dressing. We’ll see how that goes tonight. Is it time for dinner yet? :)

  • You make me jealous for spring as I am still watching the snow fall. Also, this recipe looks delightful.

  • Your last photo, simple elegance. I want to climb into that image, with a fork.

  • ee cummings is, hands down, among my top 5, in poets and all things good. and still? i had somehow missed this one. thank you, thank you, for bringing it to my attention.

    and now, for you, a terribly long addendum (apologies), and my favorite (to-date) ee cummings ode to spring:

    in Just-
    spring when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame balloonman

    whistles far and wee

    and eddieandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it’s

    when the world is puddle-wonderful

    the queer
    old balloonman whistles
    far and wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing

    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




    balloonMan whistles

    May your Spring be mud luscious and puddle wonderful.


    • He was prolific. The poem you write is the famous springtime poem, but he may have had a bit of an obsession with spring, for reasons I could speculate on but are probably a little inappropriate for this blog. Thanks, Molly! I always love when you stop by :)

  • Maria

    May I suggest this alive white woman? Mary Oliver? In fact, your blogs resonate with me like Mary’s poems do. Thanks for your posts.

  • Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

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