If you’d like a change of pace from pesto pasta, here’s a dish that says “summer harvest,” but which can be enjoyed all year round. This medley of corn and potatoes with parsley pesto is best in late summer, when fresh corn is at its most flavorful. Parsley pesto is milder, and stays greener than basil pesto, which tends to turn brown quickly. That said, feel free to add a few sprigs of basil to the mix if you want that wonderful summery scent.
This dish is nice with small new potatoes, but any red-skinned potato works well. Actually, you can use golden potatoes, too, though they don’t contrast as well visually with the corn — if you eat with your eyes as well as your palate!
While I wouldn’t go straight to calling this dish a potato salad, that comes pretty close to describing it unless you’re serving it warm. It’s just as good served warm as at room temperature. Either way, it’s a satisfying side-by-side dish served with your favorite plant-based protein (like a simple tofu or tempeh dish), vegan burgers, or a hearty bean salad.
- 1 good-sized bunch parsley leaves (some stem is fine; about 1 cup packed)
- A few sprigs of basil, optional
- 1/2 cup toasted cashews or almonds
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (sauté in a little olive oil if you don’t like it raw)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup water
For the rest
- 2 pounds red-skinned potatoes
- 2 large or 3 medium ears fresh corn (see Note)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the ingredients for the parsley pesto in a food processor. Process until the parsley is broken down into tiny bits. If need be, add a little more water. It should have the consistency of — well, pesto!
- Wash the potatoes well. If using small new potatoes, cut them in half. If using larger potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks.
- Combine the potatoes with just enough water to cover in a medium skillet and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer gently while preparing the corn.
- Break the corn cobs in half. Stand each on its flat end and scrape off the kernels with a sharp knife.
- Once the potatoes are nearly done, add the corn to the skillet and continue to cook them together until the potatoes are done and the corn is tender-crisp.
- If you want this to be served at room temperature, transfer the corn and potatoes to a colander and rinse with cool running water. Then, make sure to drain well and transfer to a serving bowl. Or, if you want to serve warm just transfer to a serving bowl.
- Toss the parsley pesto with the potatoes. Add the scallions and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
In cooler months, when fresh corn isn’t available or as good, use frozen corn.