Serve up a plant-based menu courtesy of Laura Wright’s The First Mess Cookbook, a collection of healthy recipes brimming with the freshest of ingredients.
- • 3 tbsp virgin olive oil
- • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
- • 1 tsp raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup
- • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- • salt and pepper, to taste
- • 2 tsp virgin olive oil
- • 1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch slices
- • 1½ lb mini new potatoes
- • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill (about 3 sprigs)
- • ¼ cup lightly packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- • 2 green onions, finely sliced
- • 1/3 cup chopped dill pickles or bread-and-butter pickles
- • salt and pepper, to taste
- First, make the dressing. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, grainy mustard, horseradish, agave nectar, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Tightly secure the lid and shake the jar vigorously to combine and set aside.
- Next, make the salad. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions. Cook the onions, stirring every few minutes, for about 40 minutes or until onions are very soft and deep golden brown. There shouldn’t be any dry or crispy bits of onion, and they should appear almost jammy in texture. If the pan is a little dry or the onions are crisping instead of browning, lower the heat slightly and add a splash of water. After the onions are fully caramelized, scrape them into a bowl and allow them to cool.
- While the onions are caramelizing, place the potatoes in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cover them with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes or until just tender when pricked with a paring knife.
- Drain the potatoes and run them under cold water to speed up the cooling process. Once you can handle them, cut the potatoes into quarters, wedges or bite-sized pieces. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl.
- To the potatoes, add the cooled caramelized onions, along with the chopped dill, parsley, green onions and chopped pickles. Season the salad with salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the potato salad and toss to combine. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.
Laura Wright grew up in Ontario’s Niagara region, eating farm-to-table – and sometimes farm-to-hand (she picked produce for her father to sell at the local farmer’s market). Now Laura is helping others put seasonal, plant-based dishes on their plates. The First Mess Cookbook -- her debut collection, named after the blog she started after finishing culinary school -- boasts 125-plus recipes, which make veggie-based eating hearty and accessible. – CHRIS DANIELS
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