Monday, September 5, 2011

Recipe Review: Pesto Potato Salad

When I saw the recipe (and photo!) for pesto potato salad on “The Comfort of Cooking” blog, I HAD to try it! I find pesto + potatoes very comforting! The original recipe contained a lot of “weight” amounts (2 lb. Potatoes, 6 oz. cherry tomatoes), and unfortunately I haven't gotten around to replacing my kitchen scale which met its demise in a 2nd-grade Science Fair project. So I guesstimated ingredient amounts and I think I overestimated the amount of potatoes. My pesto didn’t stretch as far as one would hope. To compensate, I added extra olive oil to moisten the potato salad. Anyway, below I’ve listed the original recipe and my adaptations. I highly recommend the original recipe if you’ve got a scale, because then your salad will be pesto-ier than mine!

"The Comfort of Cooking"  Pesto Potato Salad
2 lb. Potatoes (I used 6 medium red-skin potatoes)
1/3 c. Pesto
6 oz. Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I used 1 pint)
3 oz. fresh Mozzarella, cut into chunks (I shredded a hunk in my fridge that yielded about 2/3 c. grated cheese)
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Black pepper

First I boiled the potatoes (skin on) until soft but not mushy. Then I chopped them into large dice. I cut the tomatoes in half (big ones in quarters) and combined them with the potatoes. Then I stirred in the pesto and salt and pepper. After that, I added the cheese. The salad seemed too dry, so I added another 1/3 c. olive oil.

What did the final result taste like? Pretty good! I’m unashamed to follow through with my plan to bring it to a barbecue today. I am a pesto fanatic, so I wish the salad had as much pesto dripping off the potatoes as in the photo at "The Comfort of Cooking" which could be achieved by adding MORE pesto or using fewer potatoes than I did.
Step one would be to buy a new kitchen scale!

My pesto potato salad

Pesto (makes one cup)
I tried to make approximately 1/3 of the pesto recipe, so I would have the correct amount for the potato salad, but I think I didn’t make enough. Next time I will make the entire pesto recipe to add to my potatoes!

2 c. packed fresh basil leaves (I used 2/3 c.)
2 cloves garlic (I used 1 clove)
¼ c. pine nuts (I used 1/8 c. chopped walnuts)
2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil (I used ¼ c.)
Salt & pepper to taste
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used ¼ c. Kraft grated Parmesan cheese in a green can)

I put the basil, garlic, and nuts in the food processor and turned it on. The leaves didn’t get shredded much, so I added the oil. After that reached the correct texture, I added the Parmesan. I didn’t add salt and pepper because I figured I could add it to the potato salad if needed.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this potato salad, Nancy. Thanks for sharing my recipe! Sounds like you used many more potatoes and a lot less pesto than called for, though. Better luck next time!

  2. I LOVE potato salad and this sounds delicious! I have tons of pesto in the freezer that is just waiting for me to use in this recipe.