You know your project hoarding has hit critical mass when you find yourself with three couches.
The year was 2009. A. and I had been living together for about 6 months and I was sick of looking at the hideous hand-me-down frat boy couch he contributed to our then-apartment.
Ok, it doesn’t look that bad in this photo, but trust me, it was everything the modern domestic loathes: overstuffed, threadbare, leaking down-feathers everywhere. Blech.
I was determined to acquire a new couch. Something pretty, comfy, and cheap. After religiously trolling our friend Craigslist, I found The One. It looked something like this:
image via Attainable Vintage
Except, it was in much worse condition. My tastes and enthusiasm for Big Projects were a lot different at the age of 24. The couch was free, the exuberance high, so into the apartment it was lugged.
“I thought you wanted a nicer couch,” A. complained.
“I’m going to reupholster it! And I’ll fix the broken legs too. Easy peasy!”
And that’s how
we I ended up with Two Couches.
Fast forward a few weeks later. Maybe months? I don’t know. This time period is a blur, but one thing is certain: reupholstery was not happening. I began to think more realistically, and decided we needed a new new couch. Back to Craigslist, where I quickly found The One:
image via Classic Direct
Thinking realistically was not something I really excelled at in my “first apartment” days. After $200 and a harrowing drive with a poorly bungee-corded trunk, the settee was ours.
And that’s how
we I ended up with Three Couches.
It was at this point my good friend Laura from Germany came to visit us. The first thing she said when she walked in the front door? “Oh! … You have three couches.”
And that’s when I knew I had a problem.
Here’s the thing, though; when you have three couches distributed between your living and dining rooms, you can throw big parties. Plus, Laura is a wonderful chef, so really, it was kismet.
And that’s how I ended up with the recipe for The Ultimate Vegan Avocado Potato Salad.
This is the salad that distracted our confused party guests from the plethora of couches. It’s nutty and creamy, with a bit of tang from the lemon and arugula. Perfect for those late-summer BBQs we are all too busy to attend.
Underwhelmed by this pile of green goo? You got me, I was not able to photograph the salad in a very appetizing way. Food photography is hard. But trust me when I say, it is delicious. I’ve been making it at least once a year since 2009, and the bowl has been scraped clean every time.
After all this reading, it’s about time for the recipe!
Vegan Avocado Potato Salad:
Serves 6 as a side; great for potluck parties!
Time: 20 minutes active, + 2 hours inactive potato-cooling time
What You Need:
- 2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 C. raw pine nuts (sub chopped raw almonds if you’re saving $)
- 1/2 C. loosely packed arugula
- 2 Tbs. parsley
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ripe avocados
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice (from about 1.5 lemons)
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Step One – Peel and chop the potatoes into roughly 1-inch chunks. Boil until just tender when pierced with a fork (15-20 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water—the Germans call this “scaring the potatoes”—then set aside to cool completely.
Step Two – While the potatoes are cooking, toast the pine nuts until fragrant and lightly browned. The easiest way to do this is in a toaster oven set to 350ºF for 5 minutes (check them OFTEN so they don’t burn!). You can also toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Once toasted, set aside to cool.
Step Three – When the potatoes and pine nuts have cooled, stir them together in a large bowl. Coarsely chop the arugula and parsley and toss them in. Pour in the olive oil and stir it all together, trying not to crush the potatoes.
Step Four – In a separate small bowl, dice the avocados and stir in the lemon juice. You want to avoid mashing the avocado, just stir the pieces around so they get coated in lemon juice. Add the mixture to the larger bowl.
Step Five – Season with the coriander, salt, and pepper, and stir the salad well. Enjoy!
*Note: As you might imagine, leftovers don’t keep super well because of those delicious avocados. Store them in an airtight container for no more than a day. But don’t worry, you won’t have leftovers, it’s that good!
*Another Note: You can prepare the potatoes a day ahead and keep in the fridge, then just assemble the salad shortly before serving. Easy, right?
*Ok, just one more Note: This potato salad is sooo easy to double or adjust in any way you please. Want a higher avocado-to-potato ratio? Do it. Need more green in your diet? Keep that arugula comin’, baby.
As for the couches and the project hoarding?
Couch Three was sold to a Maine photographer for a profit. It now lives out its days as a prop in a thriving portrait studio.
Couch Two, sadly, could not be resuscitated from its piteous disrepair. After being deposited to the side of the road, it went to Couch Heaven and now gets to lounge in The Big Living Room in the Sky.
Couch One eventually returned to its former owner and our good friend, Sean. It just recently found a new temporary Forever Home with a bunch of Broke Students, as all overstuffed threadbare couches dream.
We now own a beautiful, modern, Real Grownup Couch, chosen by A. (of all people). We no longer have the room in our apartment for couch hoarding, but we do have a garage, which looks like this:
I clearly haven’t learned anything in the past 5 years.
Are you an incurable project hoarder too? What’s your favorite summer salad?
Thank you, Laura, for letting me share your fabulous avocado potato salad! Miss you!