A Spring Potato Salad

This recipe is from the Williams Sonoma blog which has wonderful recipes! I added blanched fresh peas as I had them!

Spring Potato Salad

For the olive relish:

5 Tbs. (2 1/2 fl. oz./75 ml.) olive oil

2 1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 large Greek or Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped

6-8 brine-cured black Mediterranean olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) chopped fennel

3 large green onions, including green parts, chopped

12 small multicolored potatoes (about 2 1/2 lb./1.25 kg. total weight)

1 can (14 oz./440 g.) quartered artichoke hearts in water

5 oz. (155 g.) feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

To make the olive relish, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Stir in the olives, fennel and two-thirds of the green onions.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 25 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool to the touch, about 20 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half, then transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the artichokes and olive relish. Toss to blend. Stir in most of the cheese, reserving some for sprinkling on top.

Sprinkle the remaining green onions and the remaining cheese over the salad and serve. Serves 4-6.

My Mother

My mother did not know how to cook when she got married. She had five daughters in  6 1/2 years and was way too busy to finally become an incredible cook until after we were out of the house. She compiled two great cookbooks, one on desserts and the other on soups. I am so happy to have all of her recipes and make her soups often. I was just visiting and made her Broccoli Soup. Mushroom Soup, Tomato Soup and Gazpacho! She has notes in her recipe book of what pan to use and other modifications she made to the recipe! I love cooking with another person and it is so much fun to share the techniques and final product!

Mom and roses

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Makes 1 quart and doubles easily

1/2 sliced onion

1 sliced shallot

1 t. minced garlic

4 oz. sliced mushrooms (optional)

2 T.  minced parsley

Add and blend in:

1 T. cornstarch

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth (I dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of the stock until smooth and then add)

1 pkg.(10 oz.) chopped broccoli

2 boullion cubes (also optional-I use a vegetable broth cube)

Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Cool and puree until smooth. Add

1/2-3/4 cup half and half.

Can be served hot or cold.

Mom's soup cookbook


I harvested a lot of spinach from my garden and thought of spanakopita, which I hadn’t made in years. I love this recipe as it uses olive oil instead of butter. Also the Athens brand of phyllo I bought is in two separate packages and you only need to use one so there is no needless drying out of phyllo sheets. I refroze the second package of phyllo and will try it on the next batch! This recipe is from Fine Cooking. I cut the pan into 24 pieces but you could cut it into 8 pieces for larger servings. I also liked the tip of brushing the scored pastry with milk.


For the filling:
  • 2 lb. fresh spinach, washed, dried, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 3 oz. or 10 small), white and light-green parts only, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese (10 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Greek kefalotyri cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
For the assembly:
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil for brushing; more as needed
  • Eighteen 9×14-inch sheets frozen phyllo dough (I use Athens brand), thawed and at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. whole milk

Phyllo dries out very fast and becomes brittle when exposed to the air. Check out our test kitchen tips for working with it.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Make the filling: Heat a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Add a few large handfuls of the spinach and cook, tossing gently with tongs. As the spinach starts to wilt, add the rest a few handfuls at a time. Cook until all the spinach is wilted and bright green, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to a colander set in a sink. Let cool slightly and squeeze with your hands to extract as much of the remaining liquid as you can.

Wipe the pan dry with a paper towel. Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in the spinach, turn off the heat, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then stir in the cheeses, eggs, dill, parsley, nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp. salt and mix thoroughly.

Assemble the pie: With a pastry brush, lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with some of the oil. Working quickly, lightly oil one side of a phyllo sheet and lay it in the pan oiled side up and off center so that it partially covers the bottom and reaches halfway up one long side of the pan (the edge on the bottom of the pan will be about 1 inch from the side). Lightly oil the top of another phyllo sheet and lay it oiled side up and off center so it reaches halfway up the other long side of the pan. (If your pan has sloped sides, the sheets may be slightly longer than the bottom of the pan; if so, let the excess go up one short side of the pan and then alternate with subsequent sheets.) Repeat this pattern with 4 more phyllo sheets.

Next, lightly oil the tops of 3 phyllo sheets and layer them oiled side up and centered in the pan. Spread the filling evenly over the last layer.

Repeat the oiling and layering of the remaining 9 phyllo sheets over the filling in the same way you layered the previous 9. With the oiled bristles of the pastry brush, push the edges of the phyllo down around the sides of the pan to enclose the filling completely.

With a sharp knife, score the top phyllo layer into 24 rectangles, being careful not to cut all the way through to the filling. Using the same pastry brush, brush the milk along all the score marks (this will keep the phyllo from flaking up along the edges of the squares). Bake the spanakopita until the top crust is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool until just warm. Cut out the rectangles carefully along the score marks and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the pie up to 4 hours ahead. Keep warm, if desired, or serve at room temperature.