Cranberry Potato Kidney Bean Salad

cranberry potato salad(3)

 cranberry potato and kidney bean salad photo by vsimon

In our big backyard garden, we grew cranberry potatoes. They are red skinned with pinkish flesh. I thought, what could we do with potatoes? Potato salad! And since it’s chilly outside, warm potato salad!

I had made Garlicky Green Bean and Potato Salad this summer and liked it so much, I thought what can I do to expand on that recipe? How can I showcase cranberry potatoes?  What could I change in the recipe to make it unique and delicious?

Dried cranberries, red onions, rosemary,  kidney beans!

The potatoes and kidney beans are smooth and creamy. The dried cranberries are chewy and sweet. The red onion is red and crisp. The vinegar is tangy. The rosemary is fragrant and flavorful. It is all good.

The cranberry potatoes we dug for this recipe are only slightly pink. Sometimes the flesh is very pink. Cranberry potatoes taste just like regular red skinned potatoes with white flesh. So buy whatever kind the store has, any red skinned potato will work here.

This recipe is simple, all you need to cook is the potatoes. They are 3 minutes quick in a pressure cooker. Or about 15 minutes on the stovetop.

cranberry potato salad

close up photo by vsimon

Cranberry Potato Kidney Bean Salad

Serves 4-6 metric measures
1 pound red potatoes, diced 480 gm
¼ cup dried cranberries 40 gm
¼ cup diced red onion 30 gm
1-15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 450 gm
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 90 ml
2 tablespoons olive oil 30 ml
2 tablespoons potato water 30 ml
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced 5 gm
Salt and pepper to taste  

Dice potatoes and cook until tender. Cook on the stovetop covered with water for about 15 minutes. Or in a pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water for 3 minutes.

Drain potatoes, reserving some of the water. Cool a bit. Put into a large bowl with dried cranberries, onion, and kidney beans.

Whisk together vinegar, oil, potato water, and rosemary. Toss with the other ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is lovely served warm on a chilly day. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary if you have it.


cranberry potato salad(2)

pink cranberry potato and kidney bean salad photo by vsimon

What is your favorite potato salad?

Roasted Parmesan Cranberry Red Potatoes


parmesan roasted Cranberry Red Potatoes photo by lsimon

Cranberry Red seed potatoes called out to us this spring. Plant me, plant me!

We doubled the size of our garden this year, smack dab in the middle of the sunny back yard. So there was room for two bags of organic seed potatoes. The garden center had maybe a dozen oddball kinds. Reds, yellows, blue, and whites. We went for the Cranberry Reds and Swedish Fingerlings.

Cranberry Reds are red skinned outside and pink inside. The texture of the flesh is moist and smooth, like the common red potato you can get at the grocery store.

I was super anxious to start harvesting potatoes. I had always heard, “plant on Good Friday, harvest on the 4th of July”. My husband grew up on a farm and they planted potatoes in the huge family garden. He had never heard of this and thought it was way too early for our planting zone of 5.

With encouragement from me, he planted the seed potatoes earlier than he thought prudent. And no harm done. We harvested our first potatoes about the middle of July. They were very small, we enjoyed them, and let the rest keep on growing.


pink flowers on cranberry red potatoes 6-18-2009 photo by vsimon

most potatoes have white flowers

Mature Cranberry Reds are ugly potatoes. Many are lumpy. They have alligator skins, rough and crackly.  I am not sure I like the pink insides. Maybe I was hoping for more vibrant color. The inside color is variable. Some are quite pink, some are very pale, some are streaked.

They are supposed to be long keepers. That is very important with organic potatoes, since we do not spray them to prevent sprouting.

If they are firm and not stinky in January, I may look at them more kindly. I wonder if the inside color will change a bit.

Here is one of my favorite recipes for potatoes. The salty parmesan gets golden, crusty, crispy, fragrant. The insides get soft and smooth.

You can also use bakers instead of red potatoes. Really, all potatoes are good this way. Try it with cauliflower too, yum.

Parmesan Potatoes

Adapted from Everyday Foods

Serves 4

ingredients metric measures
8 medium sized red potatoes about .5 kg
1 egg white 1
1 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese 180 gm

oil, nonstick aluminum foil, or parchment paper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut potatoes into quarters, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg white until frothy.

Toss potatoes in egg white to cover thoroughly.

If any egg white is pooling in the bottom of the bowl, drain some off.

Toss potatoes with 1 cup of parmesan cheese.

Oil a rimmed baking sheet, or better yet, line it with nonstick foil or parchment.

Place potatoes in a single layer on the pan and cover with remaining cheese. It is OK to let the cheese scatter in the pan. These bits get especially crispy.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden and crispy.

Did you plant potatoes this year? Or use usual kinds from the store. Please tell us about them.

Garlicky Green Bean Potato Salad

bean and potato salad

garlicky green bean and potato salad photo by vsimon

You know when you have an ah-ha moment and everything works perfectly? This recipe is quick, simple, and successful. Three minutes to cook, can you imagine? In a pressure cooker of course. The stovetop works, but it will take longer, more like 10-15 minutes.

We are a household of 6 pressure cookers. Different sizes, most are stovetop models, one electric. I use pressure cookers all the time, for soups, dried beans, beets, whole grains, bone-in chicken breast, brisket, stews. A pressure is an obvious choice for things that normally take a long time to cook. You can often reduce the total cooking time to one-third the original time.

But I had never thought of cooking diced potatoes and beans in the pressure cooker. It works like a charm. The veggies are tender but not mushy, perfectly done. We enjoyed the salad warm for lunch on a brilliant sunny day on our deck. We saved the leftovers and had them chilled another day.

We loved the garlic and mustard tang of the dressing. I added some chives since they are growing on the deck, and walnuts because I think the world should be a little bit nuttier.

This recipe is from my friend and colleague Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen. It appears in her cookbook Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment. Jill also creates vegetable enthusiasm with her blog and a pressure cooking DVD.

I will print the recipe as it is written below. But I did make some substitutions, to use what I had on hand.

We used red potatoes and wide Roma green beans, straight out of our garden. Since we dug up a hill early in the season, we only had about a pound of potatoes. I did not weigh the beans.

This may be heresy, but I used generous dollops of jarred garlic in the dressing, rather than fresh garlic cooked with the potatoes. I also omitted the fresh garlic in the dressing. Cooking the garlic will mellow it, and using fresh in the dressing will give it a bite. I hoped the jarred stuff met in the middle.

If you do not have homemade vegetable broth on hand, Better than Bouillon has a gluten free vegetable base. Just mix about ½ teaspoon with water. Or use plain water and a bit of salt.

Rather than measure the dressing ingredients, I estimated and likely used proportionally more mustard.

It was the kind of dish you eat quietly, because you are enjoying it too much to talk. And it has inspired me to make more potato salads in the pressure cooker.

Garlicky Green Bean Potato Salad

Printed with permission from Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen

Makes 8 cups

Jill’s notes: You can substitute wax or purple beans for the green beans in this recipe. The key to having it turn out is to be sure that the potatoes are cooked and the green beans are not overcooked, which is why you put the beans on top of the potatoes. This may be my favorite summer potato salad, and I have many.

ingredients metric measures
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, like 
   Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold
725 grams
1/2 pound green beans 240 grams
8-10 cloves garlic 8-10
3/4 cup vegetable broth 180 ml
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 30 ml
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 30 ml
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 10 ml
2 tablespoons vegetable broth 30 ml
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional) 1

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and again in half so you have quarters. Then slice into ½-inch thick pieces. Snap stems of beans, and cut into 2-inch segments.

Add vegetable broth to cooker. Lay potato pieces on the bottom. Insert garlic cloves between the potato slices. Place green beans on top. Lock the lid in place. Turn the heat to high. Once the cooker comes to high pressure, reduce heat to low.

Maintain high pressure for 3 minutes. Release pressure with the quick release method. (Note: I run it under cold water and the pressure dissipates within a minute). Remove potatoes and green beans to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Put cooked garlic into a blender with the remaining ingredients. Process until the dressing is creamy. Pour over the potato-green bean mixture. Taste, adding salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve warm or chilled, stir before serving.

“Go ahead honey, it is gluten free!”

I am submitting this to this month’s “Go ahead honey, it is gluten free!” Hosted by Shirley Braden of Gluten Free Easily, thanks Shirley. The theme is Make Me a Happy Camper. The trouble is, I hate camping. Growing up, my family camped across this country. I always got welts from swarms of mosquitoes and pined (and whined) for a comfortable chair to sit in.

And really, where is the fun in bringing your pots and pans with you and washing dishes outside? A bit of dirt in the peanut butter, yeah, that is fun. Can you tell I do not camp anymore?

But a recipe you can do simply at home and enjoy at the picnic table could make it better. So I submit Jill’s Garlicky Green Bean Potato Salad, and will toddle off to the walking path, slathered in mosquito juice.

update 11/4/09 Real Food Wednesday

I have just discovered this blog carnival, and it is easy to support. I choose real food over processed every time. Hosted by Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop on alternating Wednesdays. This recipe seemed like a good fit for the carnival, so I happily shared it.