Our food blogger and CIA student Sam shows how to put to use your new kitchen equipment and stocked pantry and throw a potluck dinner party.
HUMMUS, POTATO AND ZUCCHINI SALAD by Sam
A potluck dinner is a great way for friends to get together and have an affordable, home-cooked meal. Often there are a wide variety of dishes served, and the beauty of the potluck is that no one cares if the different dishes go well together or not. You just eat a little bit of everything, have a drink and enjoy yourself.
This is my own recipe for a potato salad that graced the table of many a potlucks when I was in college. I have nothing against mayonnaise, I just like the idea of using hummus as a binder in the salad instead. It’s delicious, nutritious, and easy to make! If you don’t have the time to make your own hummus you can just buy some at the store!
This is a vegetarian dish, which not only will please all your dinner guests, but is very economical. You could even skip the eggs to make it vegan! It serves 10-15 people and takes about 45min-1hour to make. (I’m giving very detailed instructions on the assumption that most MFA readers are inexperienced cooks.)
2 cans chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
3 Tbsp. Tahini
4 Tbsp. Olive oil
Salt (season to taste)
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbps Lemon juice (optional)
2 pieces of pita bread, cut into 1/2”X2” strips and toasted in a 350F oven until crispy (garnish)
For Potato Salad
10 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1” cubes.
3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
3 Zucchini Squash, unpeeled, diced slightly smaller than potatoes.
6 Eggs, hard boiled (optional)
Parsley, chopped (optional garnish)
Step 1: Make the Hummus
This hummus is really easy to make and could be a great addition to a pot luck dinner all by itself! If you’re buying hummus at the store to use in the potato salad, a 14-ounce container should be fine
-Combine the drained chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, Cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt in a bowl
-If you have a food processor, put the ingredients into the work bowl and puree until smooth
-You may need to add a little of the reserved liquid from the cans to thin out the hummus
-If you are making the hummus by hand, mash the ingredients as well as possible with a potato masher (if you don’t have a potato masher, the bottom of a clean can or even a wine bottle will do the trick!)
-Once the hummus is smooth, try it and add a little salt and lemon juice to taste is desired
-You can top the hummus with pita crisps
If you like roasted garlic hummus: Cut 2 heads of garlic in half horizontally leaving the skin intact. Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and double wrap each half in tin foil. Roast the foil packets in a 350F oven for 45 minutes to an hour until soft. When cooled, squeeze out the garlic and add to your hummus.
Step 2: Cook the Potatoes
The potatoes and eggs can be cooked 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated
-Wash, peel, and dice the potatoes into bite sized cubes
-Put the potato pieces in a pot big enough for them to be covered completely by water
-Cover the potatoes with COLD water and a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil
-Simmer the potatoes until they are easily pierced through the center with a fork
-Drain the water and let the potatoes air dry on a tray. Once dried and cool, refrigerate
Step 3: Cook the Onions and Zucchini
The longer you cook the onions, the browner and sweeter they get.
-Heat up a medium sized saute pan and add enough oil to cover the bottom by 1/8th of an inch. -Add the sliced onions and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally
-Once the onions are soft and browned, add Zucchini and cook until it too is just soft
-Next, add the garlic and a pinch of salt. Stir for another 1-2 minutes.
-Scoop the onion mixture onto a tray and cool in the refrigerator
Step 4: Cook the Eggs
Cool the eggs quickly in ice water to prevent a green-tinted yolk.
-Cover the eggs completely in a medium sized pot with cold water
-Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes from the time of boiling (12 minutes for “large” eggs)
-After the 10 minutes, plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water
-Once cooled, peel (under running water is easiest) and refrigerate
Step 5: Finish the Salad
Use a nice bowl of platter for an attractive presentation.
-Mix the potatoes and the onion/zucchini mixture together in a mixing bowl
-Add a few large spoonfuls of hummus and stir (remember, the hummus is used as a binder. The amount you use is up to you!). Transfer mixture to a serving vessel
-Slice the hard cooked eggs into thin rounds and arrange them on top of the salad
-Sprinkle the eggs with paprika
-Scatter pita crisps and chopped parsley over the salad
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