*My affiliate links are used in this post. However this does not influence or change my opinion. Thanks for using them and helping support my family and my blog!*
Summer Pesto Potato Salad is a healthy side that is perfect for any BBQ, cookout or other outdoor entertaining, picnic or party that you are having this holiday weekend. Impress your guests with this easy dish that is sure to please!
What do you have planned for the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend? Heading to the beach, lake, big BBQ or cookout or just a smaller family get-together? Whatever it is, I hope you have an amazing time that includes lots of good food and good times 🙂 Good times for us always includes good food, so as long as our bellies are happy so are we 😉
I first made my Summer Pesto Potato Salad last weekend because we needed a side to go with a pork loin that Dad was putting on the smoker. I immediately thought of potato salad and went through my usual potato salad recipes:
But if you have noticed, I am on a bit of a pesto kick here lately thanks to my little container garden…so I wondered how it pair with potatoes…
Now, my basil has come in so I thought that I would make some fresh basil with toasted pine nuts out of it and then toss it with some baby red potatoes for a pesto potato salad.
It was so easy, but such a HIT!! The toasted pine nuts were well worth the extra 3 or 4 minutes that it took. Believe me I have skipped this step in the past when making a pesto, but now that I know the extra depth of flavor that the toasted pine nuts add to the pesto, I will NOT be skipping that step again!! I also added the zest and juice of a lemon to the pesto, which really brightened it up and gave it a freshness that just screams HELLO SUMMER!! Just throw all of these ingredients in your favorite food processor (here is one that I have and love: http://amzn.to/28VzgeE) and in no time, a delicious and healthy homemade basil pesto is born!!
Another secret ingredient in my Summer Pesto Potato Salad is banana chile peppers (or any other bell or mild pepper that you like). We just happen to have an abundance of banana chile peppers in our garden, so I am always looking for ways to use them. I chopped them up very finely and added them to the pesto potato salad. They added just a bit of crunch and spice. Not too much, but just enough for another layer of flavor 🙂
Here is your recipe for Summer Pesto Potato Salad:
- 3 lbs. petite red potatoes, quartered or chopped into a uniform size, leave the skins on)
- 3 banana chile peppers (or any other bell or mild pepper that you like), seeded and finely chopped
- ⅔ cup basil pesto (recipe included below in the Instructions)
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- ½ pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 6 cups fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot, just cover them with cold water, place the top on the pot and place over high heat.
- Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, salt the potatoes and then let the potatoes simmer for 10-15 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander or strainer.
- Cover a large baking sheet or sheet pan with aluminum foil and then pour the potatoes on it in a single layer.
- Place baking sheet with potatoes in a freezer for about 30 minutes. This helps to keep the potatoes from crumbling when tossing with the pesto.
- While the potatoes are cooling, prepare the pesto.
- Begin by toasting the pine nuts. Place the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently so that they brown on all sides. Remove from heat.
- Place garlic cloves in the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times to finely chop. Scrape down the sides.
- Add toasted pine nuts to the food processor and process until fully chopped into a thick paste.
- Add basil, parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice to the food processor. Turn on and process completely. Scrape down the sides.
- Turn the food processor back on, and slowly stream the olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss chilled potatoes, chopped peppers and ⅔ cup of pesto in a large mixing bowl. Check seasonings and add more salt and/or pepper, if needed.
- Served chilled or room temperature.