purple potato and quinoa salad

The farmers market excursion that resulted in my favorite summer flatbread also offered up these little gems, and I couldn't resist, mostly because I love the color purple. Now, this salad can be made with any kind of potato you'd like, but just be well aware that the color contrast won't be as striking.

To be honest, though, I wasn't initially very excited about quinoa and potatoes, and when I say it like that it probably doesn't sound very good to you either. But deep, amethyst colored potatoes baked until crisp and brown and glossy from the olive oil goes incredibly well with quinoa and fresh herbs. I tend to eat quinoa salads on their own, but this would also make an excellent side dish for skirt steak or grilled chicken.

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

I always make enough for leftovers, but if you're cooking for one as a main or as a side dish for two, try starting with 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of stock. Adjust the vinaigrette to your own taste and if you have some left over, save it for another salad.

Serves 4

1 pound purple potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups quinoa
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Basil and parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

While the potatoes cool, make the quinoa. Bring stock to a boil and add the quinoa. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. (Check periodically in case it finishes early.)

Make a simple dressing by slowly whisking olive oil into the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the quinoa to a large bowl. Pour on some of the dressing, then add the potatoes and toss to combine. Add more dressing if the salad is too dry. Add the herbs and serve.