winter potato salad with quinoa + an arugula pesto

I might as well get this out of the way and tell you that I am not a huge fan of winter. I don't particularly like cold weather. I would much rather be spending my time on a beach rather than on the ski mountain. 

I like winter in the beginning. I get excited for the brisk air, warm fireplaces, hot chocolate, and big, comfy sweaters. The first snow is magical, and I get to break out my favorite pair of knee-high boots and dust off a new wardrobe for a few months. 

But it is right about this time of winter that the allure had faded. I have had enough of putting on a coat to go outside and walk the dog, and I had just about worn out my favorite pairs of boots. I'd like to go for a walk and not have to wear a hat. 

I'm ready to put on a sundress and some open-toed shoes and walk the streets of NYC aimlessly.  NYC is such a happy place when it's warm and sunny.

Is it spring yet?

Enough about the weather ... let's talk about potato salad. 

Potato salad reminds me of summer. It's a staple dish at our beach bbqs. Since I am itching for warm weather, this winter version of my potato salad is the compromise. 

I made this to remind me that spring is around the corner, and summer will be here before we know it. 


Potato salad is a hearty side dish that goes with just about anything. The winter greens add a pop of color, and the quinoa adds a little extra hearty touch.

You don't nescessarily have to eat this with something, you can also eat this alone. I had a big bowl for lunch. I added some extra greens + pesto and it was so good. I also may have closed my eyes and pictured it was summer. Okay, I did. And I was happy.  

winter potato salad

about 4 as a side dish


about 4 cups of fingerling potatoes (I used purple + white, and cut the larger ones in half)
1/2 cup of quinoa
2-3 green onions, finely chopped 

for the arugula pesto:
1 cup (tightly packed) of arugula (+ a few extra chopped leaves to toss in as a garnish)
1/4 cup (tightly packed) of basil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of salt (+ a little more to taste)
pepper + red pepper flakes (a pinch or to taste)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil 


  • Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until they are tender but still firm. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the potato salad will be more like mashed potatoes. 
  • While the potatoes are cooking, cook the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a pot with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. 
  • When the potatoes and quinoa are done, place them both in a large mixing bowl and put them in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes (or longer) to allow them to cool a bit. 
  • While they are cooling, make the pesto. Place all of the ingredients (except for the olive oil) in a food processor and pulse several times. Then, while the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow steam. Continue until the olive oil is emulsified. Taste and adjust any seasoning accordingly.
  • Then, add the pesto to the chilled potatoes and quinoa and toss everything together to combine. Add in the chopped green onion, and the extra arugula leaves. 
  • You can enjoy this right away, or you can make it ahead of time. It will keep for a couple of day in an air tight container in the refrigerator.