Red Potato Salad with Blue Cheese and Grilled Corn

Loretta at the spray park

Ah.  Summer is truly, truly here.  I'm not a summer enthusiast like some people.  I quite like my black sweaters and fires in the fireplace, and sometimes the expectations that summer be FUN! are kind of onerous.  But, when we have a few days like today--75 degrees, slight breeze, views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges--I can wait on the black sweaters for awhile.

Also, we are stay-cationing at my friend Deb's amazing house with old casement windows that swing out over Lake Washington, so I would be crazy not to like summer right now.  They don't need us to take care of anything, so we can just come and go according to our schedules and whims.  I stocked up on some vacation food today (i.e. caloric dips and ice cream) so we'll see how much cooking I actually do.

Here's something from the other night, though, that you might want to bring to your 4th of July picnic.  Like summertime, 4th of July is another time that's not 100% great for me.  Our neighborhood is home to lots of first generation immigrants and refugees and I always wonder how fireworks sound to them.  I'll bet they're not neutral sounds.  I'll bet they sound like war, and that makes me even less keen on the explosions and craziness.  But if this holiday weekend gives you a chance to be with people you love and eat fattening things, it's not all bad.

Truly a Leftoverist creation, this salad.  I had boiled a bunch of on-the-brink potatoes and used some for Potato Taco Salad. At the same time, I threw in half a dozen eggs close to their expiration date and hard-boiled them. And I had some cold grilled corn-on-the-cob because the kids didn't eat as much of it as they promised to.  The sweet crunchiness of the corn kernels, sharpness of the blue cheese, and softness of the eggs and potatoes makes for a grab-your-fork-eat-it-over-the-sink-before-bed kind of affair, which is exactly what I did last night after coming home late and exhausted.  This week has quite a bit of exhaustion in store, actually, so if I'm absent here, it's not because I've forgotten about you.  Quite the contrary--I'll be scheming about how to get back.

P.S. Thanks to Judy and the wonderful Whidbey residents at the vegetarian cooking class last night.  We had fun, and we definitely did not starve.  I hope to see you here.

picnic fare

Red Potato Salad with Blue Cheese and Grilled Corn

If all you have is canned or frozen corn, just leave it out.  If you don't or didn't grill your fresh corn, that's alright.  You can use boiled or this method, which is a favorite of mine.  Strip the kernels from ears of fresh corn by running a sharp knife down the sides.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high, put the tiniest bit of olive oil in, and throw the fresh kernels in.  Cook until toasty and just barely cooked, about 4 minutes.  You can cook this way for use in salsas or other kinds of salads as well.  Now THAT tastes like summer.

2 lbs. red potatoes, boiled and cooled
4-6 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
Kernels from 2 or 3 ears of grilled fresh corn (or prepared in the above way)
3/4 c. mayo
lots of salt and pepper
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tb. white wine vinegar
pinch paprika (optional.  I didn't use this time)
2 green onions, finely sliced

Mix mayo with garlic, salt, pepper, and vinegar.  Set aside.

In bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, blue, cheese, and corn.  Pour mayo mixture over and mix gently with your hands.  Top with green onions and more salt and pepper.