Summer Pesto Potato Salad

Sometimes I absolutely love working at a CSA.  Last year when I was sweating it out there five days a week, I wasn’t quite sure I’d come back.  It was one of the best learning experiences I could ask for.  But it was also a lot of hard work!

Despite having my butt kicked into shape every time I enter the farm, I’ve returned for another year.  This time I’m only working a couple days a week, which provides the perfect counterbalance to my office job at Discovery.  Sitting for long periods of a time at a desk often drives me crazy, and if I ever have to do it 5 days a week, I’ll probably go clinically insane.  But for now, I am fortunate to experience both ends of the work world, and I’m loving every side of it.  (Let’s hope my journalism career leads me to a job where I can continue experiencing both in and out of office encounters!)

Anyways, so there are times when working at a CSA totally kicks butt.  One, it fully puts me in tune with what’s in season.  So when the customers at the farmer’s market ask me in May where all the tomatoes are, I can laugh in my head, and tell them they won’t be ready till July. (And peaches won’t be here till August…duh.  Kidding, kidding, but really.)  Two, I nearly have a whole grocery store of FRESH produce without having to drive an inch.  When I’m out picking all those buckets of green beans, you can bet I’m dreaming of what I’m going to do with them that night.

The other day, I took home some new potatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and a few other items that you’ll see featured in future posts.  I used those first few listed items along with some basil from my own garden to turn the classic potato salad into a healthier, more summery version.  Basil-infused pesto replaces the saturated-fat-filled mayo, and fresh, crunchy cucumbers replace the celery.  It’s always fun getting creative with whatever ingredients are freshest, aka, the one’s picked straight from the field.  If you can, grab these items from your local farmer’s market (or garden) to yield ideal results from this recipe.

Summer Pesto Potato Salad

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 lb. potatoes (new potatoes, if possible)
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pesto (recipe here)
  • 2 tsp. mustard
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted pine nuts, handful


  1. Steam potatoes until fork tender. Strain, and quickly run under cool water. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, excluding the pine nuts. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Serve, sprinkling pine nuts on top.

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  • Reply
    Simply Life
    July 16, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Oh this looks WONDERFUL and what a great use of the CSA veggies!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Working at a CSA sounds like an AWESOME gig! I hate sitting also…drives me insane. I’d much rather be moving around and doing something I really feel passionate about! This potato salad looks delicious. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my CSA cucumber and this sounds like the perfect recipe to throw them in!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Your hard work sounds like it paid off with a nice selection of vegetables. I like the idea of pesto in your potato salad. Good idea for people worried about mayo in hot weather without refrigeration.

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    July 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Sounds amazing. I’d make it minus the onion, and I bet it would be just as good!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, you elevate traditional potato salad to a whole new dietary status here – this is gorgeous with the fresh pesto, purple onion, cucumber and chili pepper flakes for a little kick! Wonderful.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

    i like this recipe i always like to kick up potato salad.

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