Hearty spring potato salad is a filling and nutrient dense plant-based meal. It’s the perfect dish for any picnic or light and satisfying lunch!
I love a good salad as much as the next gal, but sometimes they just aren’t filling enough. Sometimes you eat a giant salad bursting with all the veggies, and an hour later your stomach is growling. And you think: “Wait. Didn’t I just eat, like, an hour ago?”
That’s where this hearty spring potato salad comes in. It’s nutrient dense, filling, and 100% plant based. The perfect salad isn’t just fruits and veggies. It’s fruit, veggies, legumes, and healthy fats. Because when you combine a variety of nutrient dense plant foods, especially those high in fiber and healthy fats, you’re bound to stay full until the next meal.
Let’s break down this filling spring potato salad
- Roasted baby potatoes: Baby potatoes are just as good as mama potatoes (sorry not sorry), they’re just a little smaller and usually a bit sweeter. And sometimes they come in fun colors, like the white, brown, and purple potatoes I used for this salad. They’re full of nutrients (iron, B vitamins, potassium), and if you leave the skin on (as I did in this recipe) you’re getting an extra oomph of fiber and nutrients. Which, in my book, is a plus.
- Asparagus: Did you know you have to wait two years to harvest asparagus after planting it? I can only hope that some day I stay in the same house longer than a year so that I can plant some asparagus. It’s pretty much the definition of a hearty spring veggie!
- Cherry tomatoes: Is there anything better than a ripe, juicy tomato? That umami, those antioxidants…mmm!
- Toasted pumpkin seeds: Healthy fats, protein, and jam packed with fiber. A great source of satiety.
- Green lentils: I think if there had to be a definition for heart plant-based protein, it would be green lentils. Every good salad needs a good source of protein, and these lentils are sure to be just the protein you’re looking for.
- Arugula: No salad is complete without a hearty green. Arugula is slightly spicy and entirely delicious. Enough said.
- Apple: Because every good salad deserves a sweet, crispy crunch.
- Tahini lemon dressing: This is my favorite dressing to put on everything. Usually potato salads have a mayo-base, but tahini brings forth so much great depth of flavor that you won’t even notice the mayo is missing.
The idea for this salad came from a Publix recipe for Hearty potato and lentil salad. For those who don’t know, Publix is a large grocery store chain in the south. My mom (I feel like she pops up in every blog post?) was shopping there the other day and tried a sample of their hearty potato salad. She immediately texted me a description of the salad and said “you should make something like this- it was delicious!”.
And so I did! There’s a lot of differences from the original (ingredients, method, and otherwise), but all in all I wouldn’t be here today without inspiration from trusty ole’ Publix. This salad is bound to be a staple in my house. Serve it cold with a slice of fresh avocado or a sprinkling of feta for an extra burst of flavor!
Hearty Spring Potato Salad
- 1/2 cup dry lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- 24 ounces (1.5 pounds) baby potatoes, quartered
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed*
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 10 ounces tomato cherries
- 1 medium apple, diced
- 2 cups arugula, loosely packed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse and sort lentils. Combine lentils and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for one minute. Reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer the lentils uncovered for 20 minutes, keeping the lentils covered in ~1 inch of liquid while simmering.
- While lentils are cooking, prepare your potatoes by cutting them in quarters. In a medium bowl, toss in 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until browned.
- Drizzle asparagus with remaining olive oil. Add asparagus and pepitas to the sheet pan with the potatoes during the last 5 minutes of the potato cook time. Roast for about 5 minutes. Everything should be done roasting at the same time (total of 25 minutes for the potatoes, 5 minutes for asparagus and pepitas).
- Combine potatoes, asparagus, fresh tomato cherries, arugula, pepitas, drained lentils and apple in a bowl. Mix lemon juice and tahini together in a small bowl. Toss the salad in lemon tahini dressing and refrigerate until completely cooled (about 3 hours).
- 1 whole avocado
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (for non-vegan)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
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