Celebrations, gatherings and feasts. All three of these have one thing in common: friends and family. There is always a time in our lives when we are planning the next event, the next celebration or the next meal to share with friends. It was absolutely the way I was raised in my Lebanese home. The more friends and family, the better and always more food.
Today, my family is thousands of miles away so the time spent with them is absolutely special. But during the other 11 months of the year, we have built our own little family of incredible friends right here in Portland.
I couldn’t be prouder to share this post in partnership with New Seasons Market, The Friendly Neighborhood Store! As a cornerstone to our neighborhood, New Seasons really embodies what I have felt for my neighbors the past 14 years.
11 years ago my neighborhood began a wonderful tradition of hosting an annual block party. Many of the neighbors knew each other but there were others that hadn’t connected. A few clicks, signatures and signs and we started the tradition that remains today. Over the past 11 years we’ve had new neighbors move in and definitely some that have left. The tradition holds strong and families always return to celebrate even though their address has changed.
Pulling off a Block Party
Like any good party, it all comes down to the food! Our block has the vision for everyone to bring a dish to share. A large communal table with an abundance of salads, appetizers and desserts to share while everyone brings a protein to toss on the grill.
This year, I wanted to share my easy Lebanese Potato Salad. So incredible simple to make and best of all, no mayonnaise which makes it perfect for warm weather and for all types of food allergies.
Potato Salad ~ Easy as 1, 2, 3
I grew up eating this amazing potato salad, it is so incredibly addictive and delicious with just about any type of food. I headed to my local New Seasons Market to pickup the essentials:
- red potatoes
- olive oil
The simplest grocery list and you probably even have some of these things on hand already! Truly this is the most basic salad dressing I use on most salads but the way the potatoes absorb it and the fresh herbs mix in, it really takes it to a whole other level.
Gathering of Friends
This day in age it has gotten harder and harder to make a meal that everyone can enjoy. I’m always thinking about recipes that can either be adapted or simply allergen friendly, especially when serving to a large group. This potato salad is gluten free, vegan and even dairy free! It really is the perfect dish for a large group. Sharing food is like sharing a part of our story, our history and lives. What better time to do that than during a neighborhood get together? I hope I’ve inspired you to host your own block party!! Check out the links below to learn about how to get started planning one in Portland!
The Final Party
This post leaves me a little bittersweet as our life plans are shifting. For 11 years I have held part of the planning responsibilities for this event and this year may have been my last. Next year, we may be living on a new block, outside our current neighborhood. But I know, we’ll always be here for this yearly tradition no matter where we are and I know there will definitely be a local, friendly New Seasons Market nearby!Print
A creamy, healthy potato salad free from gluten and dairy!
- 3 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed (see cooking instructions)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup parsley, chopped (1/2 bunch)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice +/-
- 1/2 cup olive oil +/-
- 6 scallions, chopped whites and greens
- 2 tsp kosher salt, divided +/-
I adore using my Instant Pot to cook potatoes, but you can absolutely boil them if you don’t have one. I’ve included instructions for both methods.
Cooking Potatoes Instant Pot:
- Place your trivet in your Instant Pot and add 1.5 cups of water.
- Place your scrubbed potatoes in the pot.
- If you are using BABY potatoes you’ll want to cook them on manual for 6 minutes. Standard-sized red potatoes cook for 11 minutes on manual.
- Quick release and potatoes should be fork tender.
Cooking Potatoes standard method:
- Scrub potatoes and add to pot. Fill and cover potatoes with cold water.
- Allow potatoes to come to a boil, potatoes should be fork tender usually cooking for 20-25 minutes.
- Drain when ready.
- Cook potatoes as directed above, continue prepping salad while potatoes cook.
- In a large bowl, place your garlic and 1 tsp kosher salt. Using a mortar, smash the garlic until it turns into a paste.
- Prep your parsley by removing leaves from stems, gather and begin to chop. Once chopped place into a bowl with cold water. Remove clean parsley with a strainer, squeeze to remove any water.
- Chop your potatoes into small pieces, add to your bowl with garlic. Add in your lemon juice, olive oil, cleaned parsley and finally chopped scallions. Add any additional salt as needed.
- Note, it is best to prepare and serve this salad warm.
- It is best to serve salad warm, if preparing ahead, leave salad out a few hours before or heat slightly in the microwave (30 second increments)
- After refrigerating salad, you may want to add some additional olive oil
- Always adjust flavors to your own taste, less lemon or garlic if you want
Keywords: potato, salad, Lebanese, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, block party, local, summer, produce
Host your own block party
Are you in Portland, OR? Check out this link to learn about how to host your own neighborhood block party!