I’m bordering on being obsessed with my fire escape garden now that the seedlings are becoming full-fledged plants. As the resident green thumb for Brooklyn Based (well, I’m calling myself that anyway), I got to investigate a kind of new “victory garden” in the form of artist Leah Gauthier’s Sharecropper, a summer-long public-art-meets-farming project here in New York. Seventeen gardens across all five boroughs–fire escape, rooftop, windowsill, etc.–will each get one crop and with the help of volunteer gardeners, will become a piecemeal urban farm come harvest time. Tastings, discussions, soup kitchen donating and other corresponding events will be sprouting up all summer. Oh! And you should read my Brooklyn Based on Sharecropper and another endeavor Gauthier’s involved in called Windows Brooklyn.


When I was working on the above, I got inspired to cook something with my garden’s herbs, which I’m having more luck with than any other year in New York. Must be that Holland Tunnel traffic off in the distance! Rarely do I get inspired to make those salads that combine potatoes, macaroni, etc. with a soppy mixture of mayo and who knows what, but looking at my furry dill and billowy parsley turned on a light bulb–> it’s potato salad recipe invention time! Don’t these salads tend to taste really bland to you? Even if they aren’t a soppy mess, it seems like they never have enough flavor. I set out to to make an overwhelmingly tangy and herby one and I’m pretty happy with the results:

Not-a-soppy-flavorless-mess Potato Salad


3 medium red potatoes
1/2 cup light mayo
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (I used Whole Foods German mustard)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper
2 scallions, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped

1. Cover the potatoes with water in a pot, bring to a boil and cook until soft, or about 20 minutes.
2. Drain water and run cold water over the potatoes in a colander until cool. Cut into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
3. In large bowl, combine mayo, lemon juice, mustards, vinegar and oil.
4. Add salt, pepper and all herbs, and mix until well-blended.
5. Add the potatoes and mix. Done!