Mid-Summer Herbal Manifestations

Potato Herb Salad

With the herb share well underway, I have had the opportunity to experiment.  The first recipe is an alternative to the regular creamy-style potato salad, which although an American summer classic, can be heavy and is certainly not “diet-friendly!”  My take on potato salad was inspired by the freshness of Greek cuisine.  As with all my recipes, the herbs used are interchangeable with whatever herbs you may have on hand.  The quantities below serve 2 generously, but if you’re having a pre-bed craving for deliciousness, it may only serve one.


The second recipe I have included this week is a twist on a basic pancake recipe, published by Martha Stewart.  I like it because it is very simple and easy to remember with only 7 ingredients:  flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, egg, butter/oil.  I added the vanilla extract for depth.  When concocting these, I had scallion pancakes in mind, reminiscent of Chinese take-out menus, which are a tasty treat, but sometimes a little too greasy.  I thought if I used a traditional pancake base, it would cut out the grease element and provide an exotic alternative to the sweet cakes we are all accustomed to.  I really enjoy throwing one of these (already cooked) on top of a half-fried egg instead of using toast to complete my breakfast, therefore ending up with a fused-together kind of a breakfast sandwich.  Spread with ripe avocado and feast away!


Potato-Herb Salad

by Benni DeNinno 

4 small red potatoes, cut in wedges

2 handfuls arugula, roughly chopped

8 grape tomatoes, halved

8 large leaves of fresh basil, finely slivered

3 large sprigs of mint leaves, finely chopped

6 chive stalks, finely chopped

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste

Fresh squeezed lemon juice optional.


Steam the potatoes until tender but not falling apart.  Add the finely chopped basil, mint and chives.  Drizzle on olive oil and toss until evenly blended.  Add salt/pepper/garlic powder.  Toss again until spices are evenly distributed.  Add tomatoes and arugula.  Toss a third time until, you guessed it, evenly blended.


I imagine this dish will pair nicely with freshly broiled or grilled salmon, very lightly seasoned, since the salad is so flavorful.  Unfortunately, due to the late hour, I had to settle for canned salmon.  It’s still good!  Maybe pair with a nice white wine.



Herbal Millet Pancakes

Wet Ingredients

1 cup milk (substitute soy, almond or your favorite milk)

1 egg

2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil (in this case I used Earth Balance Buttery Spread in stick form)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

1 cup millet flour (or 1/2 cup each millet and whole wheat flours)

2 tbsp sugar

3 tsp baking powder (or 2 1/2 if combining flours)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp turmeric (for lovely golden color and cancer-fighting properties!)


1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1/4 cup arugula, finely chopped

*this is a rough estimate.  I don’t measure with tools.  Feel free to experiment with quantity.  I would have added more if it were only for me, but I wanted to make it palatable for the kids.

Heat a large skillet on low flame.  While it is heating…

Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls.  Use wire whisk to gently blend dry ingredients first, then gently beat egg into the rest of the wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to the wet bowl.  Mix only until combined, about 10 seconds.  Fold in chopped herbs.  By this time, the skillet should be plenty hot, but check it by flicking water droplets onto it.  If they sizzle, it’s ready.  Coat lightly with canola oil spray or equivalent.  Pour batter, yadda yadda yadda, you know what to do at this point.

I fully intend on further experimenting with this recipe by changing around the quantity of herbs or using different ones.  Was thinking of mint, maybe…  Also, to make them even more savory, add curry, cumin, garlic powder, or even garam masala!

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